You can use whatever fruit you want to make a cordial or mix and match. Use whatever is in season, blackberries and elderberries will soon be ready and make great cordials, free if you're forraging!
A few tips: Always use sterilised bottles Microwave – 2-3 minutes should kill anything. Oven - put glass bottles into cold oven. Turn oven to 140C, keep it there for 10-15 minutes and then leave to cool. You can also use Milton or just boiling hot water
Storage With no acids or tablets - 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Freeze in plastic bottles for longer storage. With the citric or tartaric acid it will keep for 3-4 months in the fridge. With the Camden tablets, cordial keeps almost indefinitely in a cool, dark place. You can also sterlise the full bottles in a waterbath, opened bottles will then need to be refrigerated.
Recipes can be scaled up or down, for the amount of fruit you have.
How to make blackcurrant cordial (or any cordial!) in 4 simple steps
You’ll need a saucepan, measuring jug, sieve and bowl, muslin cloth or clean tea towel, funnel and a sterilised bottle/s.
Step 1 Place 500g berries, such as blackcurrants, blackberries or raspberries, into a large pan with 150ml water. Gently cook over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, squashing with the back of a spoon to release the juices.
Step 2 Pour the hot berry mixture into a muslin-lined sieve set over a bowl, pressing with the back of your spoon to get out as much of the juice as possible.
Step 3 Measure the juice to calculate how much sugar you need to add. Use a ratio of one part sugar to five parts juice. If you have 500ml of juice, add about 100g of sugar. Sugar is personal taste and depends on how sharp the fruit you are using is.
Step 4 Return the juice and sugar to the pan and place over a low heat. You want the sugar to dissolve, but you don’t want the mixture to boil. Remove and stir in ½ teaspoon of citric acid (if using). Funnel your cordial into a sterilised bottle and seal.
Enjoy your cordial with water, sparkling water, lemonade, tonic, gin, sparkling wine or add to fruit salads or other fruit dishes...enjoy!!
Elderflower Cordial About 70 nice elderflowers 6lb (2.7kg) of un-refined ‘golden’ granulated or caster sugar/ reduce to taste 6 pints (3.4l) of boiling water 4 lemons (ideally unwaxed, failing that washed carefully in detergent & rinsed) 4 oranges (likewise) 4oz / 100g of citric acid (get this from a home-brew supplier, or a chemist’s) Large stainless steel pan or food-grade plastic bucket big enough to hold all the ingredients (if you have a second one of these, this will also come in useful), with lid Jug jelly bag / fine strainer and muslin Enough bottles to hold your cordial – I use recycled screw-top wine bottles, plastic bottles are also fine and you can freeze cordial in them. Campden tablets / powder (optional)
Dissolve sugar boiling water and add the citric acid. Stir until it’s fully dissolved. Wait until it’s cooled down (immersing your pan or bucket in a sink of cold water can speed this up).
Slice citrus fruit into thick slices (about 1cm thick), add these to the cool sugar syrup. Add the elderflowers, one at a time so you can give them a good shake to remove any debris or creepy crawlies, discard any substandard flowers.
The smell will be amazing. Soak for two or three days, covered, at room temperature.
Then it's time to strain and bottle. Strain the cordial through a jelly bag or sieve lined with a layer of muslin. I made a batch of chunky marmalade with the left over fruit, it's yummy!
Measure the strained cordial, then crush and add your campden (if using). For me, the ingredients made just over a gallon (or 4.5l) of cordial, six full wine bottles plus a bit.
Stir well to dissolve, then you can leave the strained cordial to settle for 3–4 hours (or overnight) so that some of the final sediment left will settle.
Then fill your sterilised bottles.
We also have a #sodastream which means any of these delicious creations can be made sparkling
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