Monday, 18 August 2014

Red gooseberry and lemon balm cordial recipe

Red gooseberry and lemon balm cordial recipe
The garden has been a pleasure this summer and I, for once, have been good about watering. I've used lovage and sorrel for soup, tomatillos and jalapeƱos for salsa, and found remnants of last year's potato sowings, tiny red and blue spuds, for baking. My courgette flowers have been eaten by a neighbouring cat, down to the stems, so there will be no crop, no courgettes this year. We have gooseberries but this being their first year in the garden, they haven't fruited yet. Zia Mays, my gardening colleague, donated some red gooseberries from her allotment. What to do with them? A cordial, I thought, to relish their ruby colour. I've also got around to using the lemon balm growing near the outdoor bathtub. This herb will lift the syrupy drink. I served it as a cocktail for the Hens night supper club a couple of weeks back. 
Adapted from Skye Gyngells Gooseberry and Lemon Verbena cordial recipe. 

Red Gooseberry and Lemon Balm Cordial recipe

Makes 75cl, a wine bottle's worth

400g (2 cups) red gooseberries
280g (1.5 cups) caster sugar
1 litre (4 pints) water
6 sprigs lemon balm

To make a cocktail add 15ml/half a shot of the cordial to a glass of prosecco. 
Garnish with more sprigs of lemon balm. 

Top, tail and wash the gooseberries then place in a small heavy bottomed pan with the sugar and water.
Add the lemon balm to the pan and over a medium heat, bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Strain through a colander, pushing down on the fruit to release the juices.
Leave to cool then decant into a bottle.
Makes a refreshing non-alcoholic summer drink also.
Straining the red gooseberry and lemon balm cordial


  1. That looks beautiful, in my garden lemon balm grows like a weed and I should make better use of it. Thanks for the inspiration

  2. It's easy to be lazy about actually going into the garden and using the plants isn't it? It's lovely chopped onto salads too...

  3. Don't think we can get green or red gooseberries down here. Great photos though.

  4. Gorgeous. So nice to see the redder gooseberries being celebrated too. Good balance of flavours, picks out the lemon note in the berries.


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