Making your own cordial has never been eaiser - or more satisfying …
Banish all thoughts of weak orange squash served in plastic beakers. Cordial has had a makeover. A seriously good one. And the best bit? You can make it yourself.
Get crafty and do a DIY cordial. It's easy, quick and tastes amazing. Trust us.
Take some fresh fruit, perhaps add in some herbs for balance, stir in a little sugar and you've got a recipe for something seriously delicious.
"Making something beautiful is really easy," says Kylee Newton, author of The Modern Preserver (Hardcover, RRP £20, Vintage Books). "The trend for getting back-to-basics is gaining a lot of momentum – which isn't surprising in our screen-obsessed age. It's a nice switch-off."
We had a crack at making our own raspberry and mint version. Here's what to do. (NB: feel free to try this with other fruits and herbs such as elderflower and lemon, blackcurrant and basil, and rhubarb and star anise – they all taste great. Just make sure you use sharp flavours that will stand up to being diluted with water.)
1. Assemble your ingredients
For a half bottle of cordial, we took one punnet of fresh raspberries, three handfuls of chopped mint and 250g of caster sugar. You'll also need a sterilised glass bottle to store it in ("Wash out with hot, soapy water, then place on the lowest shelf in the oven for 20 minutes," advises Kylee.)
2. Pop everything in a saucepan
Chuck it all in – no need to be delicate.
3. Let it melt
Put your pan on a medium/low heat, and let it all break down and meld together. Give the berries, mint and sugar a mash with a fork to help it on its way.
4. Keep letting it melt …
For about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Sieve it out
Get a clean bowl, and sieve your jammy mix into it. When no more comes through, throw a dash of water over the pulp, to coax the juice that's clinging to the seeds into the bowl.
6. One more boil
Time to up your mix's intensity. Return it to the pan, and boil or one minute.
7. Bottle up!
Grab a kitchen funnel, and pour your cordial into the sterilised bottle – don't forget that it's going to be hot from the oven, so use a tea towel. Otherwise: ouch. Anyway, you're done. How easy was that?!
Leave to cool overnight, and enjoy over ice with filtered water the next day; with cloudy lemonade or as a little extra something with a vodka, soda and lime. Yum.