Cranberry and ginger cordial can be mixed with hot or cold water to make a refreshing drink with the tang of ginger balanced out with the fruity cranberry.
One thing I miss from the UK, although I somehow missed having any while I was just there, is some of the nice cordials we had been getting in recent years. For those not familiar with cordials, they are basically flavored syrups you can mix with hot or cold water to make a nice drink. Ginger cordial, ginger and lemongrass, elderflower and a few others were all great to have in the house to have as an alternative to juice, mix with sparkling water for a less sugary sparkling drink, or make into a caffeine-free hot drink that still has some taste (I struggle with a lot of fruit teas for tempting me by smelling nice but tasting of water). It would also be pretty good as a syrup for making cocktails – I have yet to try, but I am thinking gin or vodka, some cordial and soda could be pretty good.
So without access to any cordial here, recently I decided to look into making some myself. I could only really find a recipe for ginger cordial, but I felt like experimenting a bit more. And, I had a pile of cranberries I needed to use up. I also wanted to see if I could limit the sugar a bit but still have something that tasted good. The result was this cranberry and ginger cordial with a little orange in the background. It’s got the sharpness from the ginger but also the fruitiness from the cranberries and I am sure we will get through it fairly soon.
Drink it cold, drink it warm…
One of the things I like about cordial is it is meant to be mixed with water, so you can easily make it weaker or stronger which is quite a plus with a toddler who often wants to have some of what we are having. Also, as its getting colder, I am looking forward to having it warm, possibly with some shortbread on the side. Speaking of which, the leftover cranberry mixture, minus the ginger and orange peel pieces, can be used to make cranberry filled shortbread. All round, a good few minutes well spent making it.
Cranberry and ginger cordial is very quick and easy to make with only a few ingredients. When I was looking up some ginger cordial recipes as inspiration, a number had cream of tartar in them which I believe helps preserve the liquid for a bit longer, so feel free to give it a try, I just didn’t have any and wasn’t that bothered about it keeping too long as the quantity below is relatively easy to get through in a week or two for us, which is fine as it is if it’s kept refrigerated.
A simple flavored syrup that makes a delicious base for both warm and cold drinks, with the fresh-sharp punch of ginger.
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 in fresh ginger piece approx 1in/2.5cm, sliced and large slices chopped
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 slice orange zest
- 1/4 cup orange juice approx 1/2 orange
Put all ingredients in a small pan and warm over a medium heat, stirring initially to ensure sugar has dissolved.
As mixture comes to the boil, you will hear the cranberries burst. Once boiling, press cranberries to bottom or side of pan to help any that haven't popped do so and release the flavors.
Boil for 3-5mins then remove from heat and strain mixture into a bottle or other container.
The cordial can be mixed with hot or cold water, still or sparkling, on approx 1 part syrup to 5 parts water ratio.
Cordial will keep for a couple weeks in the refrigerator.
The leftover cranberry mixture after straining can be re-used as a jam if the pieces of ginger and orange rind are removed, again store in a box in the refrigerator.