Saturday, 20 July 2013


This is the first year that we are enjoying our own lovely fresh blackcurrants from the fruit cage that my husband lovingly built over last winter.  I say 'lovingly' built, because it really was a labour of love......what I think set out to be a modest sized enclosure, soon grew in to quite an impressive wooden structure measuring 9 m's/12m's! He is still adding the finishing touches to it, and I shall share a picture in due course, but it is well on its way to producing enough fruit to start a 'pick your own' farm!  The blackcurrants sit happily along side red and whitecurrants, both cultivated and wild strawberries, raspberries, goosberries, honeyberries, blueberries and wineberries and figs......he even has a Kiwi tree growing which will 
 be interesting to watch.....I gather they can grow well in our climate, which I was surprised to hear! 

This morning I harvested our first precious blackcurrant pickings and turned the one kilo of these little black beauties in to a delicious cordial.....

Having read up on them, I learnt that we have been cultivating these little vitamin C bombs in this country since the 17th Century, and that they grow extremely well in our climate.  During the second world war, when other sources of vitamin C were scarce, almost the entire crop were sequestered by the government, turned in to cordial and delivered free to Britain's children.

British blackcurrant growers now grow 5,000 acres of blackcurrants, producing up to 30,000 tonnes of the fruit per year.  However, 95% of that crop goes towards making a certain well-known blackcurrant cordial, which is one reason you don't often find fresh blackcurrants for sale in the shops.  Some pick-your-own farms sell them, and you can often buy them frozen at the supermarket.  Failing that.....have a go at growing your own!

Blackcurrant cordial:

500g blackcurrants
275g sugar
250ml water
1/2 tsp citric acid

In a heavy based pan, simmer the sugar, blackcurrants and water gently for 5 minutes.
Using a potato masher, break up the fruit to release as much juice as possible.  Add the citric acid and simmer for another 2 minutes.  Strain the mix through muslin and pour the extracted liquid into a sterilised bottle and keep in the fridge.

Drink it diluted with still or sparkling water......

Or add a little to a tall glass of bubbles ....champagne, prosecco or cava....

To create the perfect 'Kir Royale'.....



Hope you're having a lovely weekend.....

Sophia xx


  1. Mmmmmm! That looks so good!!! Perfect for Sunday brunch :)
    x Loi

  2. Possibly my favourite drink. Have a fun week