Flowering currant cordial recipe
Foraging for beginners
Learn how to make a simple flowering currant cordial using the bright flowers which bloom from mid-March until May.
With 2,362 km square of national parkland, the Lake District is a good place to start foraging. Turn a good walk into a foraging adventure by slowing down, taking a pause and looking around you. Even if you start on a path you have taken many times before, with a forager’s eye you will find so much more. Create a seasonal supermarket from your favourite trails picking nettles, elderflower, wild garlic and blackberries.
A way of life for our ancestors, foraging does have its pitfalls, however. Avoid private land and make sure you know 100% what you pick and eat. If in doubt, leave it behind.
Making flowering currant cordial is a a good way to start your foraging journey. Finding the bright flowers is easy; they start to flower in mid-March and will go through until May. Found in parks and gardens across the country, they are notable for their strong herbal scent and bright pink flowers. To make 1.5 litres of cordial, you will need about 30 flower heads.
In a large saucepan, pour 2 litres of water, 1 litre of caster or granulated sugar and half of the flowers (with all the leaves on).
Heat until all the sugar has dissolved then bring it to boil before taking off the heat.
Strain out the flowers, pour the cordial into a glass jar and leave to cool.
In the meantime, fill a washing up bowl with cold water.
Give the remaining flowers a gentle swish around to loosen any dirt or bugs.
Remove the leaves, leaving only the pink flowers on the stem.
Lift the flowers out, gently shake and transfer to the cooled cordial.
Leave in the fridge for 24 hours to infuse and cool.
To dilute, add 50ml of cordial into a glass and top with sparkling (or still) water and a dash of Grenadine.
Garnish with ice and mint.