Want to add some zing to your soft drinks? Find everything you need in your local hedgerows. What could be better?

The hedgerows are the perfect place to forage the ingredients for a cordial, from elderflowers in June to blackberries in August. They’re also a great way to use up a glut of produce from the garden if you’ve had one crumble/pie/tart too many. Here are seven of our favourite cordial recipes from around the web, if you give them a go, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram and show us the fruits of your labour – cheers!


Rhubarb Cordial

BBC Good Food


If your rhubarb patch runneth over, 10 minutes is all you need to whizz up those succulent pink stems into a sweet, summery cordial. A hint of citrus and ginger gives it a kick – great added to a vodka and tonic – or drizzle through a vanilla sponge cake for the perfect marriage of sweet and sour.


Blackcurrant And Lemon Verbena Shrub

BBC Good Food


No, it’s not a plant (or a typo). A shrub is a fruit syrup preserved with vinegar to capture the flavours of the fresh fruit; packed with probiotics, they are great for digestion. If you’re sick of summer puddings and your herb garden is going wild, this combo is the perfect recipe to use up a glut. Dilute just like a cordial, or use as the base for a summer mocktail.


Cucumber And Lime Cordial

Olive Magazine


Using just three ingredients, this cooling veg-based cordial from Olive Magazine is the perfect sip in a heatwave. The zesty lime perks up the mellow cucumber – great on its own with sparkling water or drizzled into a G&T. Thirst quenchingly delicious.


Blueberry Cordial

Waitrose


The deep purple of this fragrant drink is a real showstopper – perfect if you are having garden drinks, or a BBQ with friends. If the season is right, adding a few heads of elderflower to the mix adds a sweet, floral note. The cordial lasts for up to six months in the fridge, making it perfect for when you want a splash of sunshine in the depths of winter.


Raspberry Cordial

Recipes Made Easy


A homemade raspberry cordial is a thing of beauty. Perfect as an alternative in a Kir Royale, or drizzled over a summer fruit pavlova. Add to sparkling water with a squeeze of lime for an additive-free alternative to squash, or paint the town red and whizz up a raspberry mojito.


Elderflower Cordial

BBC


What could be more British than elderflower cordial? Mary Berry’s Elderflower Cordial. Watch her ‘how-to video’ and make your own for summer drinks but also as the key ingredient in a range of recipes – from gooseberry and elderflower fool to key lime and elderflower pie. Mary’s recipe has a secret ingredient that prolongs the shelf life of your homemade cordial and will have you sipping it all year round.


Blackberry Cordial

Sainsbury’s


Photograph by Dan Jones
The queen of summer hedgerow bounty, blackberry cordial is a frugal punch that rewards the hours spent foraging with a sweet, sticky, inky purple drink. Add a squeeze of lime to the recipe to counter the sweetness, or try a bay leaf that adds a rich, herbal note. Perfect in place of crème du mure in a cocktail, or simply served with crushed ice, sparkling water and topped with fresh berries.

By Lydia Mansi
June 2020

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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