I love Anne of Green Gables (as any Canadian woman should) and I’ve always thought I would love to taste the infamous raspberry cordial that Marilla Cuthbert made in the story. And while I did not have access to endless piles of raspberries, I did spend quite a while picking two large buckets of red currants at my husband’s grandparents farm this week.
I had no idea what to make with my red currants without an extra trip to the grocery store (which is currently impossible because we are only using one vehicle). I thought about jam, but my husband kinda grimaced over that (we are a strawberry jam only family). I also thought about various fruity desserts but because I don’t enjoy cranberries in dessert (and red currants are also quite strong and in need of sweetening) I realized that wouldn’t go over so well. So I took to Pinterest, as any woman would.
After scrolling through various scone, jam and crumble recipes I finally came across a recipe for cordial. So I read through it. All you need are:
Canning jars and lids
It really is that simple. Essentially you are making a simple syrup out of the red currants, sugar and water.
So I went through my buckets and sorted through all the good and bad currants and took out stems and leaves (and a few earwigs, yuck). Then I transferred the red currants to a large pot and poured water in until an inch of water covered the currants on top. Next I turned the stove on to boiling, placed a lid on my pot and made lunch for my kids, who were whining at my feet.
Once I finished straining the currants, I transferred all the juice back to the large pot and set it on the stove. I added sugar until it was sweet enough for me (still slightly tangy) and turned it to boiling again, stirring occasionally.
Once I was satisfied that it had boiled enough, I ladeled the syrup into a bunch of mason jars and sealed them. Then I placed them all in a large pot of HOT water (cold water on hot jars will instantly. Rack them) and set them on the stove to simmer for 45 minutes to destroy any remaining bacteria and seal the lids shut.
It was that easy! You can make both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from your red currant syrup. You could simply mix it with a bit of water and add ice for a refreshing tangy cordial as I did in the following picture. My kids thought it was delicious.
Or, you can add club soda or sprite and/or vodka to spice things up when friends come over. Everyone will be raving about your homemade red currant cordial!
Have you ever made a fruit cordial of your own? Let me know how you like this recipe (substitute strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries for an equally tastey coridal).