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1970s Recipes + Menus

Pimento Cordial (Allspice Cordial)

September 1977
    It’s impossible to imagine how confusing things must have been for Spanish explorers (“Wait, are these guys Indians, too?”), so perhaps we should forgive them for calling the berries of the allspice plant by their word for pepper (pimienta). As a result of this misnaming, tiki-philes seeking the very important tropical cocktail ingredient known as pimento cordial have for years been shown to the olive aisle, where they would have to explain for the umpteenth time the difference between pimientos and pimento. Some recipes for allspice cordial (also called allspice dram, just to confuse you a little more) use rum as the base; ours uses vodka, and of course the results will be quite different. You can also experiment with different sugars: Among others, turbinado, muscovado, Demerara, and palm sugars are all available by mail order. Compare your results to the recently available St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram.

    In a large screw-top jar combine a fifth of vodka and 1 tablespoon ground allspice, seal the jar with the lid, and let the mixture steep for 1 week, Stir in 1 cup sugar syrup and strain the mixture through a sieve lined with a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth into a jar. Makes about 4 cups.
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