Cordials & Cashews

Holiday-Inspired Recipes
by Chef Golda Ewalt
Photography by Maris Mednis

Try your hand at these recipes, and you’ll be on your way to a memorable holiday season.

Spicy Rosemary Cashews
These deeply nutty and flavorful cashews are a perfect nibble for a holiday party. Fresh rosemary infuses the cashews, and the cayenne adds a spicy background accent. These savory nuts are a great addition to a cheese tray or served as a snack alongside some holiday cheer. They make a lovely gift for your favorite foodie—and are exceptionally good eaten warm right out of the oven!

2½ cups raw unsalted cashews (or substitute another kind of nut)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1½ teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the nuts and oil; toss to coat.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. Stir to coat the nuts evenly.
  4. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on sheet pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Serve warm.


DIY Cordials
Cordials are sweetened distilled spirits, also referred to as liqueurs, and are easy to make at home with a variety of fruits and herbs. Homemade cordials can be strained and served chilled, neat or with ice, as an after-dinner drink. Cordials can be the base for a cocktail, such as a holiday-inspired mule or martini, mixed with seltzer water or tonic and garnished with fresh citrus. Other uses include topping off a flute of prosecco or champagne with a teaspoon or two of cordial, or drizzling it over fresh fruit. Cordials also make a luscious sauce for ice cream.

Citrus Rosemary Cordial
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
Zest from 3 oranges
3 large, juicy lemons, juiced and strained
3 cups vodka


  1. Combine the sugar and water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Add the fresh rosemary sprigs and turn off the heat. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  2. Strain the syrup to remove the rosemary. In a large jar with a lid or bottle, add the rosemary syrup, orange zest, lemon juice and vodka.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for three weeks before enjoying.

Note: Sterilize the jar or bottle used to store the cordial in boiling water before using it.

Cranberry Cordial
2 cups crushed cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups vodka


  1. Combine ingredients and store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for three weeks.
  2. Strain and serve as an after-dinner drink or as a base for a cocktail. a&s