Food & Drink

How to make blackcurrant cordial

July 12, 2013

Last year it was cakes and buns, this year its cordials!

How to make homemade blackcurrant cordialIn our quest to avoid the aspartame (see the post here on our reasons why) I’ve scoured the books looking for ways to make some of our produce into cordials. This week I brought home a few blackcurrants from Callan community garden and made this delicious summer juice in just 15 minutes.

The refreshing recipe below (published in The Guardian recently) doesn’t make a huge amount – 400g of blackcurrants makes about 750ml concentrate cordial, but it reminded me of childhood summers and drinks as they used to taste before they became chemical cocktails. If you’re growing blackcurrants, know anyone with a blackcurrant bush or spot any in your local farmers market, it’s well worth trying and a lovely way to use the fruit.

Just a quick word of warning if you’re growing these sharp little fruit that are packed full of vitamin C in your garden or allotment, they’re prone to attack from a little caterpillar that’s the larvae of the gooseberry sawfly so do keep an eye out or you could lose them all in a couple of days.

How to make homemade blackcurrant cordialIngredients

500g (5 cups)  blackcurrants
275g (1 1/8 cups) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) water
½ tsp citric acid


Simmer the sugar, blackcurrants and water in a heavy based pan gently for 5 minutes.

Using a potato masher, break up the fruit to release as much juice as possible. Add the citric acid and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Strain the liquid through a piece of muslin and pour it into a sterilised bottle and keep it in the fridge. If you can’t find muslin anywhere, a fine sieve will strain the largest of the remaining pulp but the liquid wont be as clear.

The remaining pulp can be saved and used to flavour natural yoghurt.

If the strawberry cordial is anything to go by, I’m looking forward to trying this blackcurrant juice as a mixer in something sparkly soon… 


  • Reply sophiecussen July 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this – very timely as I was looking for something to do with my black currants, and I hadn’t got enough to make jam but this will be fab to do 🙂

    • Reply greensideupveg July 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      You’re welcome Sophie, hope you enjoy it as much as we are 🙂

  • Reply ayearinredwood July 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I make a blackcurrant cordial here too…. it is much loved by all kids who visit! Never thought of trying it the adult way!!!!!

    • Reply greensideupveg July 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Having tried the strawberry cordial with Cava Margaret and discovered how utterly delicious it is, will give any juice a go now!

  • Reply Dr Hows Science Wows (@sciencewows) July 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing another great recipe Dee, was wondering what to do with our crop and this will fit the bill perfectly. Was just researching aspartame last week to write a ranting blog when I saw yours and figured you had already done a great job ;0) We would rather take our chances with the sugar in this house ;0)

    • Reply greensideupveg July 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks Naomi, kind to say though sure you would have put a much more scientific slant on it 🙂 Like many areas surrounding food, the whole area of aspartame is a minefield with people from both sides having their say. I’m with you though, taking our chances with the sugar and trying to keep our intake as natural as we can.

  • Reply Lily de Sylva July 13, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Yum, sounds lovely! If anyone is having trouble finding muslin or fine strainers for making fruit and flower cordials, you will get them from a home brew supplier…. I use they are very good.

  • Reply Patti June 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Yum, looks delicious

    • Reply greensideupveg June 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      We love it Patti 🙂 I may try and make the cassis this year as was gifted some and it was delish!

  • Reply Reflecting - 14 Gardening Articles for 2014Greenside Up December 30, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    […] No. 5 – How to Make Blackcurrant Juice […]

  • Reply Bb August 8, 2015 at 11:04 am

    How long will this cordial keep in the fridge?

    • Reply Dee Sewell August 11, 2015 at 9:02 am

      I’m not sure as it didn’t last that long in our household, though I would imagine the amount of sugar in it would preserve it for a good while.

  • Reply Norval July 18, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Hi, I’m having trouble sourcing citric acid – can I use lemon juice instead? Hope this isn’t a silly question!

    • Reply Dee Sewell August 20, 2018 at 10:54 am

      My understanding is that the citric acid is purely to preserve the cordial. I would imagine lemon juice would work but am not an expert in this.

  • Reply julia Kuhn July 5, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    I do as above too. What is good about it is you can leave some bits of stalk on and not pick through the blackcurrants too well. But I put the sugar in after straining it with a sieve. I even push a few bits through the sieve as I love to have those little bits. Heat it up to boiling with the citric acid and add a tablespoon of granulated sugar one at a time till I can just bear it … I have mine very sour, so refreshing. Then I freeze the bottles of concentrate and take them out one at a time, it lasts for weeks in the fridge then as well. Love it. x

    • Reply Dee Sewell February 26, 2023 at 8:43 pm

      Brilliant, thanks for the tips Julia.


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