A Cordial Affair

A cordial was once rather different to how we know it today. It was a medicine with an alcoholic base, made in Italian apothecaries in the 15th and 16th centuries, containing herbs and spices and other beneficial ingredients.

These cordials arrived in Britain in the 15th century and were taken to invigorate and revitalise the body, particularly the heart ('cor' being the latin word for heart)

By the 18th century, they were drunk rather more recreationally and over time became known as liqueurs.

The officers of the East India Company themselves brought home stories of exotic drinks. One such recipe was Paanch, meaning ‘five’ in Hindi, comprising five simple ingredients: water, sugar, fruit, tea and alcohol. It became what we now know as punch.


Rose Cordial 25cl

Boasting the crimson hue and heady scent of the rose petal, our Rose Cordial was created especially for use in spritzers or cocktails, and adds a touch of sweetness to sparkling water.

The East India Company - Lifestyle

Food and Beverages

Our Rose Cordial is a great addition to cocktails and spritzers where a taste of classic rose water is required. We make it by infusing fine rose petals, and we add just enough natural rose flavour to ensure a full flavour.

Use one or two teaspoons with 200ml fresh water if using as a straight cordial, to make your water wonderful!

We can share a recipe for an interesting summer cocktail with Mint Oolong tea, and below if you have a moment, catch our short story about how Iced Tea became a phenomenon in the United States.

And if you do enjoy the flavour of rose, we have a super whole Rose Bud Herbal Infusion in our range. Sourcing the best buds from Iran, it creates an entrancing perfume-like aroma and flavour.
Roses were once used medicinally as they thought to boost circulation and provide the skin with a healthy glow. Rose perfumes are made from rose oil, extracted by steam distillation of crushed rose petals, and are likely to have originated in Persia.

Rose water which is the core ingredient in our cordial is simply made by steeping rose petals in water. It’s used around the world as core food flavouring.

Growing up, many western children’s first experience of a rose flavour would be in a sweet Turkish Delight. Just a small smell of rose water is enough to take many back to childhood memories.
EIC Recipe Book - Mint Oolong Tea with Rose Cordial

Serves 4

Place 8 heaped teaspoons of Mint Oolong Tea Tea into a saucepan with 1 litre of fresh just-boiled water and infuse for about 4 or 5 minutes.

Strain through a sieve into a heatproof bowl, leave to cool.

Tip into a jug and add a handful of ice, along with 6-8 tablespoons of Rose Cordial Stir well, taste and adjust accordingly

For an elegant finish, add a sprig of fresh mint and a sprinkling of Rose Buds to each glass.


Cane Sugar, Water, Natural Flavour (Rose),Infusion (Water, Rose Petal 0.3%) Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid.


Made in factory that handles nuts, sesame, mustards, gluten, milk, eggs, soya and sulphites.
May contain traces of these allergens.


Typical values 100g – Energy 1549kj/370kcal | Fat 0g, of which saturates 0g | Carbohydrate 93g, of which sugars 92g | Protein 0g | Salt 0.01g


Store in a cool place after opening.

Suitable for vegetarians.


The Story of Iced Tea

The majority of iced tea today is a poor relative of the original, which dates back to the 19th century, being akin to sugary, flavoured water.

The oldest iced tea recipes were made with green tea and were known as 'punches' such as Regent’s punch, named after George IV or the Prince Regent 1762-1830. It was very aristocratic and highly alcoholic.

The punch became known in America, but was a novelty until the 1904 World Fair in St Louis [home also to the Olympic Games in the same year]. The very hot crowds were served with very hot Indian tea. It was the India Tea Commissioner, Richard Blenchynden and his team, who realised something cooler was in order. They filled some large bottles with the hot tea and let it flow through some iced lead [!] pipes. The resulting 'iced' tea, was a huge success, later replicated by Blenchynden for shoppers at Bloomingdales in New York. The huge US iced tea industry was born and the drink is now popular all around the world.
It’s so easy to make your own great iced tea, either with green tea or black - Ceylon tea works especially well as it remains very clear as it cools. It can be made as a cold-brew with a bit of planning [add tea to cold water and brew for a day] or made hot and iced water added. Honey or a natural cordial to sweeten a little or a lot to taste, some lemons and limes and some alcohol if you must. The opportunities are endless - different herbal infusions also make a great base.

We have a few recipes to share in our EIC Recipe Book; we would love to hear yours too.

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  • FAQ

    I love flavoured iced teas, do you have any recipes that I can try?
    Yes, we have lots of iced tea recipes, cocktail and ‘mocktail’ recipes too. Click here to see our EIC recipes. Check out our cordials page, you can fine some of the recipes there too.

    I enjoy a classic iced tea with lemon and lime using a black tea base. Which tea would you recommend?
    Good question: some teas can go cloudy - still tasting good - but if you want a clean and clear traditional iced tea, we recommend a black tea from Sri Lanka, such as our Sir Anthony Oliphant's Ceylon Loose Black Tea Caddy 125g. For Peach Iced Tea fans, we suggest trying our Peach Infused Black Tea.

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    UK Standard Delivery: £3.95
    UK Next Day Delivery (mainland UK only): £9.95 (Order before 12pm)
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