This Raspberry Cider Vinegar Drink makes me think of the Raspberry Cordial from Anne of Green Gables.
It was Summer sometime in the mid 1980s. The sun was shining and the gentle breeze made my dusty rose Venetian blinds sway. I remember the gentle clicking sound the blinds made when they hit my window sill. School was out for Summer, and I was lost in my new favourite book. It was a book about a feisty little red-headed orphan girl named Anne Shirley.
Back then, I had no idea how dear that book and its characters would be to me.
As a young girl, my favourite fictional character was Anne Shirley. When I was a kid back in the 80s, I was introduced to that memorable Canadian heroine — that little red-headed Anne Shirley, who won the hearts of everyone. I treasured my copy of Anne of Green Gables and read the series over and over. Though Anne of Green Gables was originally published in 1908, I received my copy when I was 9 years old.
With such lovable characters and imagery of life on Prince Edward Island, it’s hard not get immersed in the books.
I did get to visit Prince Edward Island with a friend for her 40th birthday. Both of us are bibliophiles and Anne of Green Gables happens to be a favourite of ours. Our trip to PEI will forever be one of the most memorable trips I have taken.
One of my favourite scenes in Anne of Green Gables is when Diana is invited to tea. Anne offered Diana some raspberry cordial, and the result was not what Anne or Diana expected.
Mrs. Lynde was up to see Mrs. Barry today and Mrs. Barry was in an awful state,” she wailed. “She says that I set Diana drunk Saturday and sent her home in a disgraceful condition. And she says I must be a thoroughly bad, wicked little girl and she’s never, never going to let Diana play with me again. Oh, Marilla, I’m just overcome with woe.”
Marilla stared in blank amazement.
“Set Diana drunk!” she said when she found her voice. “Anne are you or Mrs. Barry crazy? What on earth did you give her?”
“Not a thing but raspberry cordial,” sobbed Anne. “I never thought raspberry cordial would set people drunk, Marilla–not even if they drank three big tumblerfuls as Diana did. Oh, it sounds so–so–like Mrs. Thomas’s husband! But I didn’t mean to set her drunk.”
“Drunk fiddlesticks!” said Marilla, marching to the sitting room pantry. There on the shelf was a bottle which she at once recognized as one containing some of her three-year-old homemade currant wine for which she was celebrated in Avonlea, although certain of the stricter sort, Mrs. Barry among them, disapproved strongly of it. And at the same time Marilla recollected that she had put the bottle of raspberry cordial down in the cellar instead of in the pantry as she had told Anne.
Anne inadvertently served Diana currant wine instead of raspberry cordial.
That scene always made me laugh as a child, and it wasn’t until I moved to Manitoulin Island and married a farmer, that I had my first taste of what I thought to be similar to the raspberry cordial in Anne of Green Gables.
My Mother-in-law makes an amazing raspberry cider vinegar drink that reminds me of the raspberry cordial mentioned in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book. I wouldn’t dream of asking my mother-in-law for the recipe and sharing it on the blog, because it’s her recipe. What I did instead was tasted her raspberry cider vinegar concentrate very carefully and tried to work out in my head how I could reproduce that flavour.
This is what I came up with…
We have lots and lots of raspberries on our farm, so when it’s time to pick the berries in the Summer, I make sure to freeze containers and freezer bags full so I can use them during the Winter months.
Because we have so many raspberries, I make batches upon batches of the raspberry cider vinegar concentrate so we can enjoy the beverage any time we wish.
This raspberry cider vinegar drink that I made tastes less potent than that of my mother-in-law’s. I believe she also adds more sugar than I included in this recipe. I absolutely love my mother-in-law’s raspberry cider vinegar drink. It’s so strong! Just the way I like it! I suppose if you add more of the concentrate to your water, you can achieve similar strength and flavour as my mother-in-law’s.
I don’t know what the raspberry cordial from the book tastes like, but this is how I imagine it to have been like. Now, every time I pour myself a glass of raspberry cider vinegar drink, I am brought back to my days as a young girl, wanting to be Anne Shirley.