Cordial Médoc – Raiders of The Lost Cocktail Cabinet

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a Raiders of the Lost Cocktail Cabinet, but I thought that this week’s featured ingredient deserved a post, especially as it appears to be on the cusp on vanishing for good; I’m talking about Cordial Medoc.
This was a brandy-based liqueur from the Médoc region on the West Coast of France, just north of Bordeaux. In addition to the brandy, a variety of fruit, spice and sugars were added. According to the, it was once held in “extremely high regard”. Here are my thoughts.

#1) Own
Very smooth initially, followed by some gradually building warmth. It had a grape nose with a little burnt sugar and then some fruity jamminess and herbal elements. It was relatively sweet and a bit syrupy at the end, reminding me a little of a Wisconsin-style Brandy Old-fashioned.
On a second tasting, the complexity of the underlying spirit seems to come through a lot more.
On a third tasting, a bit more honey came out and there was a slight resemblance to Drambuie.
#2) Lotus Blossom
Shake with ice and strain
1/3 dry gin 1/3 Cordial Medoc  1/6 French vermouth  1/6 fresh orange juice
Quite pleasant; you can easily appreciate each of the ingredients in this drink. Initially, I got the flavour of the Medoc, followed by the herbal dry vermouth, the fresh orange juice and a long, fine juniper finish from the Gin (I Used Hereford Dry).
#3) Montigni
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker & strain
3/4 oz Cordial Medoc 3/4 oz cream 1/2 oz Cognac 1/2 oz orange curacao
Delicious, like a top-notch cream liqueur. There were some chocolate notes, which are perfectly mixed with the fruit from the Medoc, coming across like chocolate-covered strawberries. Exceptionally smooth, but full of flavour. Simply superb.

#4) Flying Fish Cocktail
Stir in a mixing glass with ice & strain
1 3/4 oz gin  3/4 oz Cordial Medoc  1/4 oz maraschino liqueur  1 dash peach bitters*
Sweet and floral and rather tasty. Rather cordial-like, I think this would make a rather pleasant after-dinner drink. Smooth, the Gin stops it from being too sweet and sickly. Once again, there is a slight Drambuie-like character to this.


#5) Katinka Cocktail
Stir in a mixing glass with ice & strain
1 1/2 oz gin  1/2 oz Cordial Medoc  1/2 oz green Chartreuse  1 dash Angostura bitters
A dry and herbaceous cocktail, with some fruity elements, some syrupy sweetness and then a menthol bitter twang at the end. This was a complex drink and rather bracing, but boy, does it make you hungry! (It would make a fine aperitif).
#6) Cordial Midoc Sour
Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain
1 1/2 oz Cordial Medoc  1 oz fresh lemon juice  Add orange slice, cherry
Very tasty, being smooth, with a rich sweetness that starkly contrasts with the fresh, crisp lemon juice. An invigorating way to enjoy the cordial.
*The bottle of Peach bitters was kindly loaned to me by Mr. Hartley of The Candlelight Club.
Special thanks to, where I found most of these cocktail recipes.


This entry was posted in Raiders of The Lost Cocktail Cabinet and tagged by DTS. Bookmark the permalink.

About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

1 thought on “Cordial Médoc – Raiders of The Lost Cocktail Cabinet

  1. Nice article, never tried it… I’ve stumbled across a few substitute suggestions… Harry Eriksson, a Swedish bartender who won the first ever world cocktail championship in Paris 1953 with his drink Nordexpressen (equal parts cordial medoc, canadian club whisky and cinzano dry vermouth) said that cordial medoc can be substituted with equal parts cointreau, eau-de-vie and creme de cacao. In Charles H. Baker Jr’s South American Gentleman’s Companion, one recipe mentions “cordial medoc or orgeat”.

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