Rhubarb & Ginger Cordial

rhubarb ginger cordial

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I have quite a few cooking fears. I can bake like a demon and deep-fry with the best of them, I’ve made macarons, a croquembouche and bread galore. But I’ve never attempted making jam, because I freak out about sterilising jars. I also have issues with making cocktails and drinks for some reason. I’ve been bookmarking recipes for ginger beer for months now, but the instructions always sound more like a science experiment and then there’s the whole “bottle may explode” thing to contend with.

rhubarb & ginger cordial

So while those projects sit untouched for now, I’m taking baby steps. When I saw a recipe for Rhubarb and Ginger cordial in Jamie Oliver magazine, the first thought I had was “he stole my idea!” and the second thought was, “well I guess I better make it then.” The flavour combination sounded absolutely fantastic. Rhubarb is in season at the moment, and I already had some fresh ginger at home. The process was much less painful than I thought it would be, and I’m not sure why I was ever concerned about it in the first place.

rhubarb & ginger cordial

I replaced the caster sugar with an equal amount of vanilla sugar that I had for an extra dimension of flavour. This cordial was pretty sweet though, so I would even suggest dialling down the sugar to 150g if you prefer. What I really loved was the subtle ginger flavour. It wasn’t overpowering but it was definitely present and made this a really nice, refreshing drink. Definitely one for rhubarb lovers like me!

I can imagine taking this on picnics in spring to drink alongside a lunch tasty sandwiches, cakes and cookies. And I imagine it would also be absolutely delicious with vodka and lime. Now I’ve made one fantastic cordial, I can’t stop thinking of other flavour combinations that would be fabulous as well. Next up, home-made ginger beer, and hopefully no exploding bottles!

rhubarb & ginger cordial

Rhubarb and Ginger Cordial
Makes about 500ml
Adapted from Jamie Oliver magazine

• 1 orange
• 400g rhubarb, chopped into 2cm pieces
• 150g vanilla sugar (or golden caster sugar)
• 1 thumb-size piece of ginger, sliced
• Soda water or lemonade, to serve

Cut thick strips of orange zest then squeeze the juice into a saucepan. Place the rhubarb with the vanilla sugar, ginger and orange zest in the pan with the juice and set over a high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Place a sieve over a mixing bowl. Carefully press the rhubarb through the sieve with a wooden spoon, pressing down to extract as much of the juice as possible. Discard the solids and allow the juice to cool before pouring it into a sterilised bottle. Chill, then dilute to your taste with soda water or lemonade.

11 Comments on “Rhubarb & Ginger Cordial”

  1. Looks very summery, pretty and delicious! I have a fear of sterilising as well. We used to sterilise science equipment in uni using old machines. They hissed and spat whilst we were in the lab and every now and then they actually did explode. It's an understandable fear!

  2. I just found your blog today – love the food and the photography!

    I'm always looking for recipes to use my rhubarb and I do love it so. This is a lovely idea and I particularly like the idea of using it as a vodka mixer.

    I came across a really brilliant way to sterilise jars – run them through the dishwasher and then fill them while the jars and the jam are still hot – it works a treat 🙂 I make quince chutney this way.

  3. Lashings of Ginger Beer does sound in order! I actually always wanted to have a Famous Five party with said lashings and cucumber sandwiches and the like…

  4. I’ve always made jam without actually sterilizing any of the jars. I simply wash them and their lids thoroughly in hot water or run them through the dishwasher, then pour the jam in when very hot and screw the lid on. Then I just flip the jars upside down, and leave them that way until cool. My mum has always been making them this way and me too, never had any bad or moldy one. So I think if you’re scared of the whole sterilizing process, this is a good way to avoid it.
    As for cordial, I also make sure I rinse my bottles really well, and pour in the cordial when very hot. The bottles keep well that way in my basement, which is always at a cool temperature.

  5. I use Milton for sterilizing bottles. Fingers crossed it has worked as some my cordials are bottled 2 weeks now.

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