A cordial is a distilled spirit that is flavored and sweetened. Also called liqueurs, cordials were first concocted by medieval alchemists and used as medicines. Some are still used for this purpose, although most people simply enjoy the taste.
Serve cordials after dinner, either with or instead of dessert.
Sip slightly chilled cordials from small, stemmed glasses. You can also serve them on the rocks. The cooler the cordial, the less sweet it will taste.
Sip room temperature or warmed cordials from brandy snifters to better enjoy the aromas.
Make mixed drinks using cordials. Experiment by using a new flavor of cordial in a well-known recipe.
Make a cordial frappe by mixing a cordial with ice in a blender.
Make a flambé by igniting the alcohol in a cordial and serving it still flaming.
Use cordials in layered drinks. Carefully pour different flavors into a glass so each lies on top of the previous flavor instead of mixing with it. Carefully sip the drink so you can enjoy the flavors one at a time.
Popular flavors of cordials include amaretto, ouzo, sambuca and triple sec.