Liqueur of Love Recipe

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Photo by Brian Goodman

The primary ingredient in this liqueur is coriander, which was used in love potions during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Cultivated for more than 3,000 years, coriander appears in many early medical texts, and is now widely used as a culinary herb.

Yield: About 1 quart.


  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seed
  • 1 star anise flower
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 rose hips
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
  • 3 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 cup 100-proof vodka
  • 1/2 cup brandy


  1. Coarsely grind the coriander, cardamom, star anise, cloves, and rose hips in a coffee grinder or food processor.
  2. Bring 1 cup water and the honey to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Add the spice mixture and boil for 4 minutes more. Remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Place hibiscus flowers in a bowl. Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the spice syrup into the same bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes, then strain it all into a clean 1-quart container.
  4. Add orange zest, vodka, and brandy. Top off with remaining water. Cover and let stand in a cool, dark place for 1 month.
  5. Use a coarse sieve or colander to strain out the orange zest. Discard. Rack or filter the liqueur into its final container, and age for 1 month before serving.

Rich Gulling and Pattie Vargas are brewers and the authors of several books. This was excerpted with permission from Cordials for Your Kitchen (Storey Publishing)

Inspiration for edible alchemy.