The thing about redcurrants is that they are quintessentially representative of the British summer, but they are hard to buy and only in season for a short time. If you have a bush in the garden you often can’t get enough in one go to make a large batch of cordial so here I have mixed them with raspberries to produce a sweet yet slightly tart cordial. It is good with still or sparkling water or is great topped up with fizz for a refreshing alcoholic drink.
Makes around 500 – 600 ml
75g raspberries (fresh or frozen – it does not matter)
125g sugar (add less if you prefer it tart)
500 ml water
Wash the redcurrant in cold water, but don’t bother to pick all the stalks or stems off as the cordial will be sieved at the end. Put the redcurrants, raspberries and sugar into a medium sized saucepan and add the water. Put on a medium heat and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer for around 20 – 30 minutes, squishing the redcurrants and raspberries against the side of the saucepan so that they release all their juices.
The cordial will be ready when all the berries have burst open and the cordial has reduced slightly to give a syrupy look to it.
Taste to see if it is too tart and if so add more sugar but ensure it is dissolved before you remove from the heat.
Set a fine mesh sieve over a jug and pour the cordial through it, pressing down the residual berry mix with the back of a wooden spoon to ensure you extract maximum juice and flavour.
Chill in the fridge, then serve with sparkling water and ice.
Note: this version will be little cloudy as some residual sediment will remain. If you want a crystal clear version put it through a sieve lined with muslin for a second pass. You will get slightly less cordial as you will need to throw away the remaining sediment in the muslin.