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)
- 275 gm white sugar, or as required (1¼ cups)
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1Bring 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.
- 2To 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.