Raspberry cordial (syrup)


Raspberry cordial (syrup) draining through a straining bag

Hallonsaft (raspberry cordial/syrup) is a popular type of cordial to make in the summer in Sweden. Traditionally cordials (syrups) were made as a way of preserving the vitamins from fruit to see Swedes through their long hard winters, in the days before fresh berries became available all the year round.

Of all the cordials, raspberry is one of my favourites because it can be used as a basis for making a lovely sauce served with many desserts, such as Ris à la Malta (Rice à la Malta), a popular Christmas dessert in Sweden. John Duxbury


Recipe summary raspberry cordial (syrup)


• Citric acid is added as a preservative and to add an acidic taste. It is available in good health food shops and online, but if you can’t get any you can use lemon juice instead.
• I recommend freezing the cordial instead of bottling it, especially if you can’t get any citric acid.


1 kg (6 cups) raspberries
1 litre (4 cups) water
500 g (2½ cups) granulated sugar
2 tbsp   citric acid crystals or lemon juice


1. Pick over the raspberries to remove any leaves and under-ripe or damaged berries.

2. Add the berries to a large saucepan along with the water, sugar and citric acid or lemon juice. Heat gently, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and leave to cool with the lid on. When cold, transfer the saucepan and contents to a fridge for 24-48 hours.

5. Pour the mixture into a straining bag and leave to drain slowly. (Do not try and force the mixture through the bag because it will then make it cloudy.)

6. Pour the strained cordial into sterilised jars or into clean plastic containers for freezing. (If freezing, don’t overfill the containers because the mixture will expand as it freezes.)


Unopened bottles can be stored in a cool dark cupboard for several months. Once opened they should kept in the fridge and used within two weeks.

Hallonsaft med mynta och citron

The cover of Sylta & Safta

A nice variation is hallonsaft med mynta och citron (raspberry cordial with mint and lemon), which I came across in Sylta & Safta, a delightful little book published by Expressen, a Swedish newspaper. Simply add the juice and rind of two unwaxed lemons in step 1 above and then, once the mixture is cold in step 4, some roughly chopped mint leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs of mint.


To serve, mix 1 part cordial with 1 part water or lemonade and ice. Taste and stir in more sugar if desired.

Raspberry cordial vodka martini garnished with fresh raspberries

If you would prefer a raspberry martini, mix 2 parts cordial with 1 part of vodka and a couple of ice cubes in a cocktail glass and garnish with fresh raspberries and a mint leaf. Add a dash of bitters if desired. Alternatively, mix in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Raspberry sauce

Raspberry sauce served with Rice a la Malta

Hallonsaft is used as a basis for a delicious raspberry sauce served with desserts, especially Ris à la Malta (Rice à la Malta).

To serve 4:
1. Pour 500 ml (2 cups) of hallonsaft into a saucepan and whisk in 1 tablespoon of potato flour or cornflour (corn starch).
2. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, until it just begins to bubble. (Do not boil for long as the sauce will become very gluey.)
3. Stir in 100 g (½ cup) of raspberries and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar (superfine sugar). Taste and add more sugar if necessary, but aim for a little sharpness to contrast with your pudding. Serve lukewarm.


printer copy sb  printer version.pdf

Phone and tablet h32  phone & tablet version.pdf



SwedishFood.com is run by a not-for-profit company set up to help English speakers around the world who would like to learn more about Swedish food. If you like the site please help us to promote it and bring Swedish food to a bigger audience by following us on:

 Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logo

John Duxbury
Editor and Founder