Redcurrant Cordial

Since May my redcurrants have been turning....

....into rubies.

Time to pick.

One bush doesn't yield a huge amount. I usually make a few jars of jelly but this year I thought I'd make some cordial - red Ribena. Easy peasy to make. Put the currants, stalks and all, in a  pan with some water (600ml to every 1kg of currants) and cook gently till soft. Pour the lot into a jelly bag or similar and leave to drip overnight.

Put the juice into a pan with sugar (700g to every litre of juice), heat gently to dissolve the sugar.

Pour into sterilised bottles. It keeps for several months. Mine won't last that long as I didn't make much and my children seem to love homemade drinks. Poor deprived things I don't buy soft drinks not even fruit juice.

Delicious diluted with fizzy water, and I imagine even better diluted with white wine.

You can make cordials with other berries blackcurrants being an obvious choice. Rhubarb, damsons and plums are good too. I might well make this throughout the year using whatever is in season. I'm sure frozen fruit would work too. Check out The River Cottage Handbook on Preserves by Pam Corbin for more info on 'beena making. 

By the way if you have ever wondered why Ribena is so called, the latin name for currants is ribes


  1. Ooh, what a fascinating and colourful post! I loved your photo's, so luscious and summery. Are red currants hard to grow? I tried growing rasberries but didn't have a lot of success. Anyway, thanks for the recipe, looks delicious x

  2. oooooh I may have to try this with the blackcurrants from my parents' garden... they usually give them to me to make jam, but I don't eat that much jam so this may be a better choice - thanks for sharing x

  3. Delish! Your productivity is scaring me...!

  4. Ooh a wonderful post and beautiful photos! My Belgian Grandmother used to make redcurrant jelly. I loved it! I still have a full jar which she made around 30 years ago. I have it as a souvenir.
    We will soon start converting part of our back garden into a vegetable plot. I think I'd like to grow redcurrants too.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Isabelle x

  5. Reading this post has given me powerful flashbacks to the Rosehip Syrup that I was given as a child. It was supposed to be the most efficient way to get Vit C but I suspect that it was mainly sugar. Never mind...it was a pretty colour!

  6. That sound delicious. Might try it with blackcurrants if i can beg some from my dads garden.

  7. Lovely post, very colourful. Will give this a go too as a change from elderflower.

  8. I feel I have/am living a very sheltered life, never had elderflower or ribena, well when I come over I will have to try elderflower.
    Lovely posts Sue, you are a domestic goddess for sure.

  9. Anonymous9:31 am BST

    thanx 4 all the great ideas !!! it really helped

  10. just made some of this it is very nice!!!!!

  11. That's great jane! Glad you like it.

  12. What a gorgeous colour - they are like fruity jewels!

  13. Hi Quince Tree, I spied this over on Flickr, and now I've added you to my sidebar so I kan drool over your wonderful food!

  14. Just picked a basket of red currants today with my children, off to try your cordial recipe, thanks so much for the post and pictures.

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