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To Make Cordial Pepper Water (rarecooking.com)
49 points by benbreen 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 24 comments

Seems like using poppy seed instead of actual poppies is a big deviation from the original? (Or is that what the original recipe meant?) ...As well as omitting the licorice root. Then again, I love licorice but I understand not everyone does.

The original's reference to "poppies" was likely referring to dried and preserved poppy pods, not the fresh flower. So although poppy seeds are not quite right, it's the closest you can get without moving into a legal (and medical) gray area, since poppy pods can potentially contain a pretty significant amount of residual morphine and thebaine alkaloids.

Reminds me of feeding black licorice "Drop" to non Dutch people, make sure napkins or a trash can is nearby for them to spit it back out.

Are those the really salty ones? I like black licorice, but have only ever enjoyed it with a sweetener.

I had what may be an equivalent experience when I gave a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to my Italian hosts. One adventurous set of tastebuds out of the bunch had led me to believe they'd be a good gift. People were practically knocking each other over looking for a place to spit :-)

The chocolate in Reese’s replaces some of the delicious cocoa butter with something called PGPR. If you’re not used to it, it’s like eating chocolate flavored wax.


American and European chocolate are very different tastes.


very different is a pretty huge overstatement, and this article only describes the mandatory legal minimums. There is plenty of american chocholate (including easy to find mass market stuff) that meets or exceeds the european standards.

Probably more like to people not from northern Europe. In Sweden and licorice is very popular here, as well as in Finland to my knowledge.

It's also very popular in Italy (SAILA Lquirizia Purissima — very powerful stuff!), so definitely not the Northern thing.

The northern (danish/swedish/finnish) things are liquirice candies salted with ammonium cloride, not black liquirice. Very, very different taste.

It's still black liquorice of course, but yes, it's salted with ammonium chloride.

This was confusing for me because my grandma used to make pepper water for me when I was a child, and it was nothing like this. It's a kind of spicy soup. Recipe here: http://anglo-indianfood.blogspot.com/2013/06/anglo-indian-pe...

Starting with 4 gallons (more than 16 litres) of "very good brandy" is an enormous amount for personal use. Was the original recipe aimed at businesses?

I've found that with old alcohol recipes, they always specify a recipe to make massive amounts.

A few years ago I was looking at recipes for brewing from the Household Cyclopedia of 1881 [1]. The recipes specify malt by the sack. 3 sacks of malt to brew 3 barrels. I never did actually brew any beer from the book, since the recipes were fairly standard and not altogether that different from modern brewing. 1881 is late enough that we had a good understanding of the chemistry and microbiology involved in brewing beer.

The book also has recipes for various liqueurs, usually with recipes calling for 4 gallons of spirits. There's even a recipe for "port wine" that calls for 100 gal of claret and 12 gal of honey.

[1] https://archive.org/stream/Household_Cyclopedia#page/n403/mo...

The original idea behind this kind of drinks, at least for italian "cordiale" offered to troops as part of their military daily rations[0], was a way to get rid of cheap grappa that was unsuitable for selling.

Note that grappa is made out of pomace[1], which is a compost of all the leftovers from winemaking (such as seeds, pulp, stems and must), therefore pretty cheap to make.

[0](http://www.mreinfo.com/international-rations/italian-combat-...) [1](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomace)

Historically, alcohol consumption was much greater than it is today [1,2]

1 - http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31741615 2 - https://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-how-much-did-our-a...

Probably for a party. Based on the recipe I would guess an outdoor party in the midsummer.

probably aimed at large houses that did a lot of entertaining guests

Since these old recipes are showing up every now and then here, I feel like I should plug www.archiefkok.nl for those of us who speak Dutch. It's like the blog linked above except she also writes an essay around the historical source the recipe is from or the historical context of the recipe. Do not open this site on a morning where you can't afford to lose most of the day browsing the archives.

Pity that anyone who makes this according to the original recipe would be violating the law in the U.S. and (I believe) many other countries. I'd love to try it.

If the poppy seeds are unwashed, even this version would break the law.

What's the law? Are you not allowed to possess unwashed poppy seeds? Or are you just not allowed to put them in brandy?

A splash of soda / seltzer water seems to make just about everything better.

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