While I grew up on a farm surrounded by blackberries, I never did make blackberry cordial until after I’d left home. To me, summer days and blackberries go hand in hand. Perhaps that’s why I love this recipe so much!
Should you have “a thing” for blackberries, I suspect this will become a special drink in your home too!
WHAT IS A CORDIAL?
Simply put, cordials are condensed, sweetened juices and can come from a variety of fruits. Unlike syrups, cordials consist of a thin juice with lots of added sweetener.
There’s lots of history behind traditional cordials! Perhaps that’s why my old fashioned heart loves them so much.
THE BERRIES YOU USE
This cordial should be made from sun-ripened blackberries. If you can, harvest fruits yourself or purchase freshly-picked berries at your local farmer’s market. Sun ripened is the key because these berries will have flavor unmatched by the grocery store alternative!
HOW TO MAKE BLACKBERRY CORDIAL
- 2 gallons sun-ripened blackberries
- 2/3-1 C honey
- (optional) 2-3 cinnamon sticks and 6-8 cloves
Directions: Wash your blackberries. Place them in pot and gently employ your potato masher. Bring them to a simmer on the stove top and stir often to prevent sticking.
After about 15 minutes, your berries will soften and begin breaking up. It’s time to strain them!
Warning: remember the contents of your pot will be hot on this next step!
Set out a bowl that is large enough to hold your berries. Line it with a muslin cloth, then gently pour scalding hot berries into the bowl.
Knot the corners of the cloth together and then hang to let juices drip for an hour.
Pour the juice back into a clean pot. You can compost the contents of the cloth or use it to make frugal berry vinegar.
Add honey to your juice, along with cinnamon sticks or cloves, if desired. To concentrate, simmer the cordial for 30-60 minutes.
Strain out spices.
Wash your pint (500 ml) jars with hot water and immediately fill with hot cordial. Put hot canning lids in place and fasten with metal bands.
Process according to your altitude. At 2,000 ft in elevation I process my cordials for 10 minutes.
HOW TO USE BLACKBERRY CORDIAL
Blackberry cordial is most often used as a refreshing summer drink, poured over a glassful of ice. Should you wish to make blackberry juice without ice, add water to your cordial cup by cup until happy with the strength. Blackberry cordial can be combined with other fruit juices for a robust flavor.
In our home, we occasionally use it like a syrup, dribbling over our pancakes. Because of it’s high sugar content, it can also be used as a natural sweetener in baking.
Cordials are intense, both in flavor and sweetness!