By Lynnie Stein / September 15, 2022

Homemade DIY Cordial

I have to say my favourite drink in the whole world is actually water – clean and served just very slightly chilled, with a squeeze of lime or lemon – fresh coconut water may just beat it! Our kitchen always has a selection of beverages from the fermented world -KOMBUCHA, WATER KEFIR AND DRIKING VINEGARS. A home-made fruit cordial is nice to offer for an option when entertaining guests. If you have fruit trees in the back yard orchard and an abundance of  fruit. Share with neighbours, family and friends. Juice the fruit and freeze. Make fruit cordial at any time of the year. Left over juice can be frozen in ice cube trays to add to drinks or cooking. Frozen passionfruit pulp is delicious added to drinks. Herbal drinks and popsicles are a delight for a summertime treat.

“The greatest discovery was elderflower cordial. There are not many soft drinks that taste interesting or complex in the way that wines can, but elderflower cordial, diluted with still or fizzy water, is quite enough to send a wine-writer into his or her customary paroxysms of adjectival description. Fragrant, flowery, limey, grapey…it really is all of these. Visiting wine buffs swoon over it, the children clamour for it at the fridge door.” 

(Kathryn MacWhirter, Independent on Sunday).

  • Although terms like “squash” and “juice” have clearly defined meanings set out in labelling regulations, the same regulations specify that the term “cordial” has no special meaning and can be applied to any drink.
  • These kind of drinks have no place in a healthy life style where fresh fruit or juices are available. They simply add unnecessary refined sugar to our diets, which already contain far too much.Old cordials were generally herbal brews, which although they may have been sweetened, were generally preserved with alcohol. In the USA to this day cordials are alcoholic drinks or what we would call liqueurs. Vermouths, whose main flavouring is wormwood (Artemesia absinthium), were originally remedies for internal parasites, and also came from the family of herb cordials. Another old concoction was the “rob”. In Australia cordials are fruit and a sugar syrup.
  • Modern herb cordials are rather different and can be described (in most cases) as an improvement on the old robs, as with the modern method it is possible to make a herbal extract by infusing herbs directly in a strong syrup. This syrup squeezes the goodness out of the herbs by osmotic pressure, so there is no need for cooking, and the flavours and benefits of the herbs are preserved a much fresher and more natural condition than they are in any other extraction process. A fresh herb cordial, such as elderflower, ginger, or nettle, is really the ultimate way of preserving both the fresh flavour and the benefits of these delicate herbs – as a simple taste test confirms.
    http://www.thorncroftdrinks.co.uk/healthy_thirst.htm

Home-made Fruit Cordial

  • You can modify the amount of sugar / alternative you add, and apart from that, the only ingredients are fruit, water, and sometimes citric or tartaric acids. These are natural fruit acids extracted from fruit which intensify flavour and help a little with the storage life of the cordial. You can usually buy citric acid or tartaric acid from any supermarket.
  • Sugar is added to cordial in the form of sugar syrup, which is traditionally equal parts sugar and water. For instance, if you use 1 litre of water, add one litre of sugar, or for one cup of water, add one cup of sugar. This is boiled gently until the sugar dissolves completely, (experiment with healthier sugar alternatives). Use 1/3 cup of organic honey syrup for every 1 cup of sugar in the original recipe.
  • You could make just about any cordial with sugar (or alternative) syrup and fruit – either juiced or chopped up. You can experiment with your recipes, and the amounts of fruit and sugar or alternatives you use. Once you have your fruit syrup made, you then serve it icy cold diluted with water, soda water or mineral water. Add some ice, a slice of fruit, a sprig of mint or edible flower ice cubes.
  • Citric acid helps intensify flavour and tartaric acid helps a little with preserving the cordial. All cordials may be made without these acids. They need to be stored in the fridge though, and used within a couple of weeks.

Raspberry Cordial
Makes just over 1 litre

  • 600g/20oz raspberries
    300g/10oz organic sugar / or alternative ( *see below)
    The juice of half a lemon
    1 litre/13/4 pints water
  • Place raspberries in saucepan, cover with sweetener, squeeze over the lemon juice and pour over the water.
  • Place over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir once or twice so that the sweetener dissolves. Turn down and simmer for about 6-7 minutes or until the raspberries disintegrate.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pass through a colander to strain, pressing down on the fruit. Most of the raspberry flesh is soft enough to pass through leaving the pips behind. Allow to cool then pour into a glass vessel and place in the refrigerator.

Lemon Cordial

  • 3 lemons, 1lb organic sugar / alternative, 1 oz citric acid, 1 pint boiling water
  • Peel lemons trying to avoid getting too much white pith. Put rinds, lemon juice, citric acid and sugar in large jug or bowl and add boiling water.
  • Stir until sweetener is dissolved. Leave to cool then strain and bottle. Dilute to taste.
  • Alternatively boil up the ingredients then leave to stand overnight, strain and bottle the next day – seems to get a stronger lemon flavour. 

Elderflower Cordial is 20 heads of elderflowers added, and some of the lemon removed.

Store in clean sterilised bottles.

Refrigerate.

Passionfruit Cordial

  • Cooking time –  More than 1 hour
  • 750g organic sugar / alternative
    1 litre water
    pulp of 15 passionfruit
    3 teaspoons tartaric acid
    3 teaspoons citric acid
  • Place sugar and water together in a large saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Allow to cool.
  • Add remaining ingredients to sugar syrup, stirring to combine. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.
  • Strain cordial, then pour into clean sterilised glass bottles and keep refrigerated.

Exotic Cordial (sugar free)

  • 1 cup orange juice
    1 cup cranberry juice
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    1 bottle fizzy mineral water
  • Put the orange juice, cranberry juice and lemon juice in 3 separate cups. Without mixing the juices, pour them into ice cube trays and freeze.
    When frozen, place one of each juice cube into a tall glass and fill the glass with carbonated water.
  • The Healthy Alternative to Cordials
  • Children love herbal lemonade. It is easy to make and a sure-fire way to get children to drink their herbs. Replace the water you would normally add with a nice herb tea.
  • Lavender lemonade is lovely and can become pink lemonade by adding a few hibiscus flowers.
  • This is a great summertime treat.
  • And what would summertime be to a child without popsicles?
  • After making a herbal tea, you can pour it into popsicle moulds and a few hours later you have an instant healthy hit!

Lemonade

  • Juice squeezed from 1 lemon, about ¼ cup
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
  • 16 ounces sparkling water
  • Put ingredients in a pitcher and stir with a spoon. Pour and serve over ice.
  • First roll lemons pressing between your hand and a counter.
  • This will make them easier to squeeze, and yield more juice.
  • Variations: You can substitute water or herb tea for sparkling water, or brewed kombucha or water kefir and honey for maple syrup.
  • This lemonade tastes great made with hot water too!

Child-tested Herbal Tea

  • One teaspoon dried organic herbs or one tablespoon of fresh herbs
  • One cup of boiled water
  • Allow the infusion to sit for 10 minutes or longer, strain and enjoy. There are numerous pleasant sweet flavoured herbs that can be used to blend tasty teas for your little ones. These herbs work well to mask the bitter or less desirable taste that some herbs may have.
  • Some pleasant tasting herbs include:
  • liquorice root
    fennel seeds
    anise seeds
    mints
    lemon balm
    lemon grass
    cinnamon
    hibiscus
    chamomile
  • The leaf of the stevia plant can be added to sweeten teas.
  • This extremely sweet plant is also available in organic liquid drops and powder at your local natural food store.
    Freshly squeezed organic fruit juice is another natural sweetener that can help enhance the flavour of herbal teas and freeze for treats.

Rosella Drink

  • Cut the petals (sepals really), from the rosella seeds and fill a glass or ceramic container.
  • Pour over boiling water and leave for 24 to 36 hours.
  • Strain and sweeten to taste and put in bottles with 2 or 3 cloves in each.
  • Make sure the covers are screwed or wired on.
  • Leave in a warm place until you see the bubbles (should be 4 or 5 days).
  • Chill and serve.

Rosella Cordial

  • Boil the petals in as much water as will cover them.
  • Strain and sweeten, boil again until it forms a syrup.
  • Dilute this syrup with water or mineral water (fizzy).
  • Keep in the refrigerator if storing.

Rosella Tea

  • The dried red calyx is used for tea and it is an important ingredient in the commercial Red Zinger, Hibiscus and Fruit teas. The tea is very similar in flavour to rose hips and high in vitamin C.
  • To make it, strip off the red calyx (the fleshy cover surrounding the seed pod) and dry it in a solar drier or a slow oven until crisp.
  • Only two small pieces are needed per cup, try mixing it with dried lemongrass or lemon verbena and dried organic orange peel, for a wonderful herb tea, it is also good chilled.
  • * Can substitute sugar with (experiment with quantities).
    Soaked blended organic dates (you can even strain the blended dates to make a lovely smooth caramel sauce).
  • Organic Stevia, rapadura, rice syrup, pear and apple juice concentrate, sucanat sugar, sucant, organic evaporated cane sugar, date sugar, sorghum syrup, spelt extract, maple syrup, turbinado sugar, pure maple syrup, amasake, organic raw honey. To be used in moderation.
  • Dr. Bruce Fife is a certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician. He is considered the world’s leading authority on the health aspects of coconut and related products.
  • He is the author of 20 books including Coconut Water for Health and Healing and serves as the director of the Coconut Research Center, www.coconutresearchcenter.org

What is the healthiest beverage you can drink? Fruit juice? Herbal tea? It may come as a surprise to you, but one of the healthiest beverages is coconut water. Most people respond to this statement with, “what the heck is coconut water?”

  • You’ve been to the grocery store, picked up a coconut, and shaken it, right?
  • The sloshing sound you hear inside is coconut water.
  • Contrary to popular belief, this liquid is not coconut milk.
  • Coconut milk is made by crushing and squeezing the liquid from coconut meat.
  • What you get is a thick, creamy, white fluid that looks much like dairy milk.
  • Coconut water, on the other hand, looks pretty much like ordinary water, although it may be slightly opaque. The two are completely different in taste, texture, nutrient content, and health benefits. Coconut water is sometimes referred to as coconut juice and is consumed just like any other fruit juice.
  • Coconut water has a slightly sweet, somewhat nutty taste.
  • Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste like coconut.
  • It has a flavour all its own.
  • Coconut water has long been the most popular beverage consumed in the tropics where it is considered not only a refreshing drink but a health tonic.
  • Coconut water is a superfood filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, and growth factors.
  • It is low in fat and has only a fifth of the sugar found in most fresh fruit juices.
  • Its unique combination of nutrients gives it incredible health-promoting properties.
  • Coconut water has a normalizing effect and gives the body a boost of energy so that it can overcome a number of health-related conditions.
  • It is effective in relieving dehydration, fatigue, constipation, and other digestive disturbances, kidney and bladder disorders, and vision problems such as glaucoma and cataract.
  • It is reported to turn back time, so to speak, by reversing or slowing down the aging process. Coconut water also has an alkalizing effect on the body, helping to counteract or balance the effects of acidifying foods which are so common in our diets.
  • Research shows that coconut water can improve blood circulation, lower elevated blood pressure, and reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes. Studies have been so impressive that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States has approved coconut water to carry the claim that it “may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.”
  • One of the most remarkable characteristics of coconut water is its chemical profile and mineral content.
  • The primary minerals or electrolytes in coconut water are essentially the same as those found in human blood. For this reason, doctors have used it as an intravenous fluid for rehydration, pumping it directly into the patient’s bloodstream.
  • Numerous studies dating back over 60 years document the successful use of intravenous coconut water in the treatment of malnutrition and dehydration.
  • Since coconut water has a pleasant taste, it has also found use as an effective oral rehydration beverage.
  • Doctors have found it to be highly useful in fighting dehydrating diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and influenza, where it has saved the lives of thousands of children in underdeveloped parts of the world.
  • Coconut water’s similarity to body fluids and its usefulness as an intravenous and oral rehydration fluid has spurred interest in the sports community.
  • With properties which are in many ways superior to commercial sports drinks, coconut water is now becoming popular as a natural rehydration beverage among athletes. In fact, it is popularly known as “Nature”s Gatorade.
  • Coconut water is available at most good health food stores and, as its popularity continues to grow, is finding its way into many grocery stores. It comes packaged in easy-to-carry cans, bottles, and tetra paks.
  • Tetra paks are the most convenient because you don’t have to worry about them breaking. You can take them with you anywhere, even when you work out, go camping or hiking, or go to the football game.
  • If you freeze them beforehand, they will stay cold for hours, providing you will a cool, refreshing drink later in the day.
  • You can also get coconut water straight from a fresh coconut.
  • You want to make sure you get a “young” coconut.
  • Young coconuts are those that have not fully matured.
  • The water in the mature brown, hairy coconuts you see in the grocery store is too old and tastes much different.
  • Whole young coconuts are also sold in health food stores.
  • They look different from the mature brown coconuts.
  • When a coconut is harvested from the tree it is covered in a thick fibrous husk.
  • The husk is usually removed before being shipped to market, so you never see the husk, just the brown shell.
  • Young coconuts, however, have only a portion of the husk cut off, leaving about an inch covering the shell.
  • The husk is white and often shaped like a large toy top, with a point on one end and flat on the other.
  • They are perishable, so you will find them in the refrigerated section of the store.

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