The raspberries I mentioned on Saturday had been soaking for six days (rather than the usual five, but that's motherhood for you) so this morning I finished off the bottle of raspberry cordial. Diluted with (fizzy, for preference) water, this is a beautifully refreshing drink and not too sweet for my taste - unlike most fruit-flavoured drinks you can buy. Apart from the five-day waiting period it's a quickie and, let's face it, it doesn't ask anything of you than for a bowl to be in its service for a few days. Oh, and for a corner of the kitchen counter.
500g raspberries (I tend to use frozen ones)
300ml white wine vinegar
Put the raspberries in a bowl (not a metal one, though) and crush roughly. This is why frozen berries can be better than fresh - no juice squirting everywhere! Pour over the vinegar, cover with clingfilm and leave for five days to steep. Line a colander or large sieve with a J-cloth (or a piece of fine muslin, if you happen to have such a thing lying about), then rest it over a saucepan and strain the berries and juice through the cloth until you have all the drips. Try not to 'help' by squeezing and pressing the fruit as it will end up cloudy. Less work, too...
400g caster sugar
250ml boiled water (preferably still hot, but only boiled ONCE)
Add the sugar to the pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the water. Once boiling, turn down the heat and simmer while you skim off the scum that has surfaced. I use a tea-strainer for this, and very well it works, too. Pour through a funnel into a sterilised bottle and cool. Stick the lid on and bung it in the fridge.
You don't need much per drink - maybe a tablespoonful for a tumbler topped up with water, and it is a glorious pinky red. My children are very keen on it and I'm happier for them to drink something like this than regular squashes or fizzy pop drinks as I know what's in it. It may be sugary, but it's all-natural, no nasties.