How to Use Your Club Releases at Home: Conservation Cordial & Pawpawmaro
Written by Corey Adamo, Head Bartender, Tenth Ward Distilling Company
If you’re a Tenth Ward Bottle Club member, I’m sure you have either one or both of these bottles sitting on the shelf in your home bar right now. You may be wondering to yourselves:
What is a cordial? What is an amaro?
And if you’re like me and not native to the state of Maryland, you are most likely thinking:
What in the name of all things holy is a pawpaw?!
Never fear, we’re here to answer all of these questions for you. We’ve also put together a few cocktail recipes for each of these spirits, so you can feel like you’re enjoying a cocktail at our Cocktail Lab from the comfort of your home!
What is a Cordial?
Liqueurs and cordials are made by adding flavorings to a base spirit and then sweetening it with sugar. They can be made with just about anything, including flowers, roots, herbs, fruits and spices to name just a few (check out our seasonal liqueurs here). Unfortunately, the words “liqueur” and “cordial” get a bad reputation and are usually associated with overly sweet, sticky, creamy, and low ABV cocktails. While there are some liqueurs and cordials that certainly do fit those descriptions, there are also a wide array which are the complete opposite. This includes the Conservation Cordial, which was something really special we cooked up for the Bottle Club in April 2020.
The Conservation Cordial started out with a neutral cane spirit base which we infused with mimosa blossoms for three weeks before distilling it out into a perfumed spirit. We then infused that spirit with Japanese honeysuckle and white mulberries, and slightly sweetened it with locally sourced honey. The nose has floral and vegetal notes with a soft underscore of earth. Upon tasting the Conservation Cordial, soaring notes of freshly picked honeysuckle and mimosa blossoms dominate the pallet, with a pleasing astringency from the mulberry balancing out the liqueur, which remains on the pallet with a long-lasting but pleasant earthy note.
Conservation Cordial Cocktail Recommendations
- 1 oz Conservation Cordial
- 0.5 oz. lemon juice
- 0.5 oz. simple syrup
- Champagne, ginger beer, or soda water
- Lemon twist for garnish
- In a shaker tin, add Conservation Cordial, lemon juice and simple syrup. Add ice and shake well.
- Fine strain into a chilled champagne flute, wine glass, or cocktail coupe.
- Top with your choice of champagne, ginger beer, or soda water.
- Garnish with lemon twist.
- 1.5 oz. Conservation Cordial
- 0.5 oz. honey syrup (or simple syrup)
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Ginger beer
- Lemon wedge and a mint sprig for garnish
- In a rocks glass or a copper mug, add Conservation Cordial, honey syrup and orange bitters.
- Fill with ice and top with your favorite ginger beer.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge and a mint sprig.
What is an Amaro
Amaro is both the Italian word for bitter and describes the style of bittersweet liqueur traditionally produced in Italy. It is made in Italy by macerating a (usually secret) blend of botanicals, herbs, spices, barks, roots, flowers and citrus peels in neutral spirit, brandy, or wine.
Here at Tenth Ward, since our motto is ward off ordinary, we shy away from doing things the traditional way. Pawpawmaro started with a neutral cane spirit that we infused with fresh pawpaws, bitter orange, crabapple, hawthorn berries, and blessed thistle. We infused these botanicals for two weeks before being distilled out in our pot still. Because pot stills produce a more flavorful distillate than column stills, they’re favored for producing spirits such as these. After it was distilled we infused the perfumed spirit with prickly pear and our own secret funky blend of botanicals. Finally it was run through a single paper filter and sweetened with locally sourced honey.
The nose of the Pawpawmaro has vegetal notes of carrot and middle eastern cooking spices, as well as notes of black and white pepper. When tasting it you get a bright blossom of peppery heat on the front followed by juicy notes of pear and crabapples, ending with heavy notes of banana, mango and bitterness.
Before moving to Maryland I had never heard of a pawpaw, but I’ve recently learned that it’s a fruit that is native to the Chesapeake watershed region. It’s nicknames include the Quaker Delight, the Hillbilly Mango, and the Hipster Banana. It tastes like a cross between a mango and a banana, and some people even taste a little pineapple. This delightful fruit was the main focus for this one-time-only amaro released in the fall of 2019.
Pawpawmaro Cocktail Recommendations
- 1 oz. Ragin’ Rum (or any white rum)
- 1 oz. Pawpawmaro
- 0.5 oz. lime juice
- 0.5 oz. honey syrup (or regular simple syrup)
- Ginger beer
- Lime wedge and/or pineapple for garnish
- In a shaker tin, add Ragin’ Rum, Pawpawmaro, lime juice and honey syrup. Add ice and shake well.
- Fine strain into a tall glass filled with cracked or crushed ice.
- Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge and pineapple wedge.
- 0.5 oz. agave syrup or honey syrup
- 6-8 fresh blueberries
- 0.75 oz Pawpawmaro
- 1.5 oz. Genever Inspired Gin
- 0.75 oz. pineapple juice
- 0.5 oz. lemon juice
- Bouquet of fresh mint for garnish
- In a shaker tin, muddle agave syrup and 6-8 fresh blueberries.
- Add the Pawpawmaro, Genever Inspired Gin, pineapple juice and lemon juice. Dry shake and open pour into a chilled rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
- Garnish with a bouquet of fresh mint.
We are thrilled about our next Bottle Club release coming up in July – which will be Tenth Ward’s take on Sloe Gin. Traditional Sloe Gin is a British red liqueur made with gin and sloes. Sloes are the fruit of Prunus Spinosa, a relative of the plum. But in true Tenth Ward fashion, we’ll be taking our own twist on the traditional British liqueur. Get ready for sloe berries, hawthorn berries, coriander, almond, and lemon and lime peel.
Want dibs on this release? Click here to sign up for the Bottle Club for free.
Join the Club
Ever wondered what Tenth Ward’s Bottle Club is all about? Well it’s only the best spirit club around. It’s free to join, you get four exclusive releases per year, member referral bonuses, first dibs on any new or limited releases, and the perks just go on and on. Check out our most recent blog: Perks of Being a Bottle Club Member.