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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… 

Food & Drink, Green

Strawberry Sensation or Alien Aspartame?

July 5, 2013
Strawberry Sensation (Strawberry Cordial & Cava)

Strawberry Sensation (Strawberry Cordial & Cava)

This post started out as a very simple but totally delicious, in season strawberry cordial recipe, as per the usual food blogging posts. However, as I was researching it and in particular the area of food sweeteners versus sugar, it became a lot more.

The recipe for the very tasty summer drink is at the bottom of the post. If you don’t want to know about ASPARTAME just scroll down to the vibrant strawberry picture below and you’ll find it. I can’t recommend this strawberry cordial enough (if you have a supply of strawberries)! Seven out of seven people ranging across three generations loved it when I offered the first sips around the table here. Continue Reading…