Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Blackcurrant Cordial

Hello and welcome back again. Christmas has been and gone and we're more or less back to normal. The husband has taken the Christmas trees to use in the garden; the pine needles are especially good for spreading over beds with fruit bushes.

Talking of fruit bushes, we had a big blackcurrant harvest last summer. Rather than use the fruit there and then, I washed it, bagged it and put it in the freezer. This makes it very handy for making jam or cordial later on. I recently made some blackcurrant cordial so I thought I'd let you see the process. I got the recipe on the internet years ago and can't remember where. But it's just a basic recipe that you could find anywhere.

So, this is what you need:

450g blackcurrants
250g caster sugar
260ml water
whole lemon

De-stalk and wash the blackcurrants. You don't need to be too fussy with the de-stalking as none of the fruit ends up in the cordial. Just make sure there aren't anything creatures still there!

Place the blackcurrants, sugar and water into a saucepan. Melt the sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the syrup to a gentle simmer. Simmer the fruits for 5 minutes.

Now add the juice and skin of the lemon. You can see I'm using two lemons because I made double the quantity.

Bring the syrup back to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Let the cordial cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile sterilise a glass bottle.

Pass the cordial through a fine sieve (or muslin).

This is what was left behind after the juice had dripped through. The wild birds eat it once it has gone cold.

Pour the cordial into the sterilised bottle, cool and keep refrigerated until needed. I like to strain it through my funnel to make sure there are no wee bits still left in the cordial.

There it is! You only need a small amount of cordial diluted with plenty of water.

This same method can be used for other fruits such as grapes. There are some grapes in my freezer that I must use to make cordial. The grape cordial is very mild and I really like it. Sometimes I mix blackcurrants and grapes too.
Back in the summer I made some pink elderflower cordial which I froze in plastic bottles. We had it at Christmas, diluted with sparkling water. Very tasty!
There are some crochet projects that have been finished and progress with knitting that I hope to show you very soon. Just need to get the camera into action again.
All the very best for now. Thanks for all your lovely comments; I'm looking forward to getting lots more this year.


  1. That sounds delicious, Gillian. I haven't done cordial from blackcurrants but liqueur. We just have one old bush in the garden. Maybe next summer I'll buy some extra-fruits to test your recipy.
    All the best for you, Birgit

  2. That sounds very very good. I have some fruit in the freezer that needs using, I might just try this. Suzy x

  3. Perhaps... this year I will pick the grapes and make some cordial! This is a great idea of yours and a lovely way to use your blackcurrants, a great taste of summer in every glass! xx

  4. Great post :) The colour is fantastic, so rich ;)

  5. My grand mother always made the best blackberry jelly from blackberries on their land. Soooo good. I bet your cordial is wonderful. Your pictures make my mouth water.

  6. looks so tasty and healthy, too! I have never tasted blackcurrants before. Does it taste like raspberry or blueberry?
    I am looking forward to see your crochet soon.

    1. Blackcurrants are more tart (bitter) than raspberries or blueberries - you couldn't eat them withour sugar. However they are very good for you with lots of vitamin C.

  7. It sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  8. It sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  9. Hello Gillian,
    Nice to see step by step how you've made this.
    That must be delicious and very healthy. I like all kinds of fruit and I would try to taste all which I never seen before here on the market.
    On Your Health!!

    Kind regards,

  10. A great idea, I've got lots of currents & berries in the freezer from last year also. I might make a mixed batch cordial.

  11. Hi Gillian, this is an interesting post. I have never made cordial before. I am wondering - does the white rind from the lemons add any bitterness? Your instructions are very clear and simple and makes me think that even I could do that.

    I also am interested to know why it is good to scatter pine needles over the beds with fruit bushes. I thought pine needles stopped other plants from growing.Blackberries are considered weeds in South Australia. Domestic introduced blackberries escaped from their gardens thanks to birds and have spread into the bushland to the detriment of the ecosystem. Volunteers go into the bush to extricate the wild weedy blackberries each year. At the same time, you will find people who like to pick the wild berries for eating too.

    1. It's awful when plants or animals are introduced and cause havoc to the ecosystem.

      Pine needles are acidic so are good for our fruit bushes. They do stop plants growing too - as in the weeds that would otherwise grow round the bushes.

  12. What a great idea. I inherited a huge blackcurrant bush at the allotment along with a few smaller ones so I shall give this a go. It's a great idea to put the leftovers out for the birds too, I just hope they don't do their business down my windows after eating pinky purply berries.

    1. We once got a tiny bird inside the house - it came down the chimney. I don't know what kind it was. Anyway, it did its business on the inside of the windows and it was a vivid lime green!

  13. Gosh, that does look good and I bet it smells amazing! Plus packed with lots of lovely vitamins. Happy New Year. Xx

  14. What a good idea to freeze them! I saw heaps of black currant last year and thought I would love to do something with them during the winter... The idea to freeze didn't cross my mind! (Facepalm). I will have to get some this summer!

    I had some black currant sirup in sparkling wine last year: I can highly recommend that! :)

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

  15. Wow what a wonderful make and use of blackcurrants, beautiful bottle too, one to be left out and admired.
    Helen x

  16. Hi Gillian! What a lovely post and colourful photos! <3
    Looking forward to your crochet update, what have you been up to???
    Ingrid xx

    1. A crocheted throw with matching cushion (not quite finished) plus my knitted coat is well on now. I've started a new weaving project which should be finished quite soon too.

  17. Lovely recipe, I'd like to try it out!
    Happy 2015, though I'm a bit late! xx

  18. Hi Gillian, we ate blackcurrants out of the freezer on ice cream tonight - oooh they were a treat. I just caught up on your festive posts and have to say I love that little robin. Thanks for always stopping by my blog. Jo x

  19. This sounds and looks delicious! I hope you don't mind me contacting you through this comment section but as I have no other way of reaching you, I just wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and leaving me lovely comments. Happy New Year to you!

  20. Yum-yum Gillian, this looks very tempting! Thanks for sharing the recipe
    We can only get frozen blackcurrants around here but I see from your instructions that that could also work

  21. Yummy, I have not made this in years, thanks for the memory .Hope you are well. Have a lovely weekend

  22. This sounds delicious....I love blackcurrants! Thank you for sharing the recipe. Wishing you and your family a very Happy 2015!
    Helen xox

  23. So good and so healthy, one needs some extra vitamins for winter.
    Good Monday and new week.

  24. gosh, that looks delicious - such a rich colour. Enjoy!
    Caz xx

  25. Looks delicious! :o) That would be mighty tasty with sparkling water.


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