Blackcurrant cordial is a wonderfully full-bodied cordial that can be added to any number of drinks for flavor. It is often enjoyed with sparkling water and ice in the summer, or added to warm water with a splash of alcohol in the winter. It can also be added to tea, and lemonade. It is a great source of vitamin C, and is commonly used to fight colds.
Blackcurrant cordial is simple to make and, if bottled properly, will last indefinitely.
Step 1: Pick the Blackcurrants
Blackcurrants are not generally available in common supermarkets and are best picked fresh. Frozen berries can be used in this blackcurrant cordial recipe; however, fresh are better. Berries should be picked when their color has deepened from red to deep purple or black. Pluck berries from their stems carefully, as not to smash them.
Step 2: Rinse
Rinse the berries in a colander with cool water to remove any dirt or dust. Be careful not to smash them.
Step 3: Layer in a Pot or Steamer
Blackcurrant cordial can be made in either a regular sauce pan or a steam juicer. Place 2 cups of berries, 1 cup of sugar (or less, depending on desired sweetness), and one cup of water in a sauce pan.
If you’re using a steam juicer, layer the fruit and sugar alternately in the fruit basket. Add any flavorings (see step 4) and steam the berries for half an hour. Pour the released juice back into the basket and steam again. Repeat the process until the berries are collapsed. Go to step 7.
Step 4: Dissolve the Sugar
Heat the blackcurrant cordial mixture until sugar is dissolved. At this point any additional fruits or spices, such as a whole sliced lemon; scented geranium leaves; a stick of cinnamon; or two whole cloves, can be added.
Step 5: Boil and Reduce
Simmer the cordial mixture for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the desired concentration. The more reduced the syrup, the stronger its flavor will be.
Step 6: Strain
Strain the blackcurrant cordial through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean glass bowl. Blackcurrants stain, so don’t use a plastic bowl. Press fruit gently against sieve until fully juiced. Discard berry skins, seeds, and any amendments.
Step 7: Bottle
Sterilize a screw top bottle by steaming it in a pot of boiling water. Pour the cooled cordial into the bottle by using a funnel. Cap the bottle. A properly sealed bottle of blackcurrant cordial will last indefinitely. An open bottle should be refrigerated, and will last one to two weeks.