Springtime is one of my favourite times of the year. Nature is slowly awakening; the air is full of beautiful fragrances from different blossoms that are also a feast for the eyes. One such blossom is the flowering currant, it's gorgeous to look at, and its scent is sweet and heady. Flowering currant is an ideal ingredient for a cordial. Enjoy the characteristic subtle flavours of wild flower-based cordial and transport yourself to a warm summer's day in a country garden as you sip away.
What Is Flowering Currant And How To Identify It
Flowering currant is a popular garden plant because it blooms relatively early in spring, with beautiful pink colours and an aromatic scent. It grows as a bush up to three metres high and broad and can function as a hedge. Later in summer, it produces fruit. The flower is what we are interested in for this cordial. The flowers have a more pleasant flavour than the fruit.
The flowers dangle down in bunches of five to thirty flowers. The individual flowers are five to ten millimetres long with five petals, and the leaves are broad, with five lobes. The oval berries appear in summer/autumn, are blue/black, and measure about one centimetre. The berries can be used to make syrups and jams or in pies.
As with any foraging, be very confident with your identification. Be especially careful with berries. Do not consume anything unless you are sure you have identified it correctly.
As summer approaches and fruits appear, there will be more opportunities for foraging for ingredients for other delicious drinks. Please have a look at my elderflower cordial recipe or my kala khatta wild blackberry mocktail.
Flowering Currant Cordial Ingredients
- Flowering current flowers
- Castor sugar
See the recipe card for quantities.
Check your flower heads and remove any lingering bugs.
In a pan over medium heat, add the castor sugar to the water and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. Add the flowering currant flower heads and bring to a simmer for approximately fifteen minutes until it is a syrupy consistency.
Then separate the syrup and flowers by passing the contents through a fine-mesh sieve or a muslin cloth.
Transfer the syrup to your sterilised bottle(s).
Refrigerate the cordial. Dilute to taste with water or sparkling water.
How To Video
Here is a video guide to making flowering currant cordial.
You will need to source a glass bottle to store the cordial.
The cordial should last about three months in the fridge.
Ensure the bottles and funnel (if using one) in which you store this flowering currant cordial are sterilised, otherwise, you run the risk of mould forming quickly.
Flowering Currant Cordial
- 600 ml bottle or jam jar
- 80 Flowering currant flower heads
- 300 gms Castor sugar
- 300 ml Water
- Wash the bottle in hot soapy water and place it in the oven at 100ºC to sterilise for at least 30 minutes.
- In a pan over medium heat mix the sugar and water until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Check flowers for any bugs and leaves and remove them.
- Add the flowers to the sugar syrup and simmer for about 15 minutes until it is syrupy.
- Pass the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve or muslin cloth to separate the liquid and the flowers.
- Transfer into a sterilised bottle, seal and refrigerate. If you are using a funnel, make sure to sterilise it as well.
- To use, simply mix with cold water or sparkling water and add ice cubes and enjoy.