Fruit cordials are especially popular in Sweden and, although they are easy to buy in supermarkets, there is nothing quite like a homemade cordial, especially if it is made with fruit that you have picked yourself.
Many Swedes have a redcurrant bush in the garden and make a few jars of redcurrant jelly for the winter or a bottle or two of redcurrant cordial. Even if you only have a few redcurrants left over from another dish this is still worth making, as it is very easy and has lots of uses in addition to making light summery drinks. John Duxbury
• Look out in kitchen shops for a natty little stand for straining. They hold the muslin at the top and so it makes straining so much easier.
• Store bottles of cordial in a cupboard and, when opened, in your refrigerator.
• The quantities can be easily altered. Aim to add about a third of the weight of redcurrants with sugar.
|500 g||(1 lb)||redcurrants|
|180 g||(6 oz)||caster (superfine) sugar|
1. Rinse the currants, leave them on their stalks but remove any coarse stalks.
2. Put the berries in a saucepan and add 120 ml (½ cup) of water. Bring to the boil and let simmer until the berries have burst (about ten minutes).
3. Line a sieve with muslin (or use a stand as shown above) and strain the cooked currants.
4. Return the juice to the saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to boil and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove any scum from the surface with a spoon.
5. Pour the hot liquid through a funnel into a sterilised bottle. (Sterilise by washing and then placing in an oven at 120°C (240°F, gas 1) for 5 minutes.)
1. Dilute to taste with cold water, about 1 part cordial to 8 parts water. Serve with lots of ice and garnished with mint if desired.
2. Use in a salad dressing instead of honey.
3. Add to the water when boiling root vegetables to give them a little extra sweetness.
4. Top with boiling water for a pleasant hot winter drink.
5. Pour over vanilla ice cream.
6. Dilute with water and freeze to make ice lollies.
7. Add to sparkling water or sparkling wine to make a delightful summery drink.
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