Oooooh blackcurrant how I love thee. Oh lavender how I also love thee. To combine the two into a delicious light cordial?!! Glorious!! But more on that in a little bit…Firstly, my humble apologies for being so absent, between the house move, new business and some heartache, I wasn’t left with much time or energy to put into this site but hopefully we’re now finding our new rhythm enough to let me sneak some time on here with you guys! I have a huge backlog of posts to share all our new adventures since moving to the countryside which has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made… last week Coppertop and I walked past the fields into the next village collecting blackberries on our way. A lady walking the opposite direction saw her basket full of blackberries and invited us in to her garden to pick more! Well. We ended up with not only blackberries but a full tub of blackcurrants, lots of rhubarb (made into a gorgeous crumble) and swathes of freshly cut lavender! What a wonderful chance encounter that led to a new friendship and even better, she’s a veggie too!! Was meant to be. 🙂
I was always a huge fan of Ribena when I was younger and wanted to make a homemade version but never got round to it. These succulent berries were so perfectly ripe that they needed using straightaway so it was the perfect opportunity to try! If you see my earlier Lavender Mousse post you’ll know I’m a huge fan of using lavender in food. Whether as sugar, syrup, infused in various concoctions (esp with chocolate), it lends itself to many wonderful delights. When we were gifted so much, it begged to be combined with the blackcurrants!
The smell of the blackcurrant bushes was amazing, took me straight back to my childhood at the family farm. Coppertop loved helping out making this, was a hugely relaxing mindful activity for her to pull the lavender buds off the stems into the bowl, stopping every few moments to smells her hands with a big smile on her face. I feel like I have so much to share and not enough words or time to truly express how happy we are here and how grateful I am for our new life. But that’s for another post. Now it’s all about this gorgeous liquid that can be diluted, added to white wine / champagne or poured over ice cream (sooo heavenly)…On to the cordial making!
Blackcurrant & Lavender Cordial
- 3 tbsp lavender buds
- 210 ml boiling water
- 325g fresh blackcurrants
- 200ml maple syrup
Firstly, add your lavender buds to a bowl, pour over your boiling water and leave to infuse for at least a few hours.
Once steeped, strain through cheesecloth or muslin and add the liquid to a small bowl with the blackcurrants. Place the bowl over a pan of bubbling water and simmer for an hour until all the juices are extracted, every so often mashing down the blackcurrants to get the most out of them. ( I’ve seen shorter versions where you can just heat the berries and lavender water directly on the stove for 15 mins but this is the method I use and I’m not sure what the advantages are!)
Take off the heat and strain through more muslin ( let cool slightly, unless you want to take your hand off, trust me, it’s painful) into a measuring jug. For every pint, add 200 ml of maple syrup and gently heat for a moment until the syrup is fully mixed into the cordial. Pour into sterilised glass bottles where it should keep for a few months in the fridge. Ours didn’t even last a week as we loved it so much, maybe you’ll have more restraint than us 😉
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