Blackberry-vanilla cordial


  • Serves 12 people

This cordial makes a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage, but also works well with a splash of gin. Win-win, really.

  • 500 gm frozen blackberries (see note)
  • Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 orange, plus extra orange slices to serve
  • 275 gm (1ΒΌ cups) white sugar, or as required
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • To serve: sparkling mineral water or soda water and ice cubes
01   Bring blackberries, orange rind, juice and 500ml water to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer until pulpy (12-15 minutes), then strain through a fine sieve, pressing to extract juice (discard solids). Strain again through a fine sieve lined with muslin, measure liquid into a clean pan and add sugar, cup for cup. Add vanilla bean and seeds, stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool slightly, add vinegar, transfer to a sterile glass bottle and refrigerate until required. Makes about 500ml.
02   To serve, pour cordial to taste into glasses, top up with mineral water, ice and orange.

Note When blackberries are at their peak, by all means use fresh; at other times, frozen berries are a no less flavoursome alternative.

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