If you’ve read my earlier post this week The Ultimate Guide on Foraging and Preserving Blackberries, you know I’ve been busy picking wild blackberries. The first thing I made with my delicious harvest was a bottle of my blackberries peppercorn cordial.
I don’t really like sodas, they are just too sweet for me. But sometimes I just want to drink something other than water. In this case my go to drinks are homemade cordials, lemonades and other homemade fruit drinks. The blackberry peppercorn cordial I am sharing with you today is one of my favorites because it is the perfect combination of sweet, sour and peppery and it is super easy to make.
The only special equipment I would recommend getting is a cheesecloth to strain out the seeds and pulp. Just make sure you get an unbleached one and preferably organic cotton. I would recommend something like this one. If you don’t have a cheese cloth you could also try to strain the blackberries through a fine mesh strainer, but I find it lets more through than a cheesecloth.
Blackberry cordial or blackberry syrup?
There really isn’t a difference between the two. A cordial is a non-alcoholic fruit syrup that you can drink diluted with water, add to cocktails or even mix with yogurt. I personally think a syrup often calls for more sugar than a cordial and is boiled down further to make a thicker consistency, but that is about the only difference. You can call this a syrup if you wish.
What to do with the finished syrup?
This recipe only makes a little more than a pint and a half (750 ml), so I just keep it in the fridge, it easily keeps for a week or two (if you have it that long :P)
If you have more blackberries, you could easily double or even triple the recipe. At this point I would probably can the cordial in pint mason jars. You can use the directions from the Blackberry Syrup by Ball Fresh Preserving to preserve the cordial (find them here).
I like drinking the blackberry peppercorn cordial in club soda (sparkling water for those of you that aren’t from the USA) which gives it an extra kick. Usually, I dilute this cordial at a ratio of 1:4 to 1:3 of cordial to water.
In the summer it tastes especially good with fresh limes in it. I also love using this cordial to flavor my plain homemade yogurt. I simply pour some of it into my yogurt and then mix it up to make blackberry flavored yogurt.
I have recently decided to eliminate processed sugar from my pantry, so I make all my recipes with raw sugar, honey or other natural sweeteners. You can, of course, just use white sugar for this recipe. You may need to reduce the amount of sugar in that case. I would start with about 1/2 cup and then taste it and add more as needed. Better too little than too much!
For the pepper, I use freshly ground peppercorns. I don’t recommend using store-bought preground pepper since it just doesn’t have the same flavor. You can simply omit the pepper if you don’t want to use it, but I highly recommend you try it, it is delicious.
Blackberry Peppercorn Cordial
Blackberry Peppercorn Cordial, a healthy and delicious soda alternative. Great with club soda, water, in lemonade or even in cocktails. Refined sugar free.
- 1 pound blackberries (450 g)
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns (freshly ground)
- 1 cup water (250 ml)
- 1 cup raw sugar (250 g)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Put blackberries into a medium sauce pan and mash them using a potato masher or a fork.
Add the water and ground pepper. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Take the mix off the heat and strain using a cheesecloth. Squeeze to get as much liquid out as possible (careful not to burn yourself).
Put the strained juice back into the sauce pan (i just give it a quick rinse to get out any blackberry pieces). Add the raw sugar and lemon juice.
Stir until sugar has fully dissolved. Pour the mixture into a clean bottle or jar and seal. Store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
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