About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Blackcurrant cordial

OK, this took me a little longer to get round to as it wasn't just a matter of editing my previous post with the quantity of sugar used. Top tip: If your method of separating juice from fruit pulp involves hanging a jelly bag up by a piece of string, maybe think twice about processing eleven pounds of fruit in one go.

There was a bag of stewed blackcurrants hanging from this string before it broke

There was a lot of cleaning up to do after that. There were even splashes of blackcurrant juice on the ceiling.

At this point I remembered that I do actually have a small wine press in a cupboard in the store room. Although missing a tube to convey juice into a container, it does have one very useful feature: A splash guard. You might well ask why I didn't use this in the first place. So might I.

A much tidier method of extracting juice from blackcurrants

I can't tell you how much juice I extracted from my 11 lb 4 oz of fruit because I didn't measure it before I added the sugar. I stirred in 1 kg sugar, which tasted about right, then bottled it. The final count comes to 3 ½ litres of cordial, most of which is now in the freezer, because I don't add enough sugar to act as a preservative.

Speaking of sugar, and because we were talking about the anti sugar campaign recently, I thought I'd work out the sugar content per drink. It's a fairly strong cordial, so a suitable dilution is about one in ten, making a total of 35 litres of made up drink. One drink is about 250 ml, so that's 140 drinks in total. One kilo of sugar divided by 140 drinks is 7.1 g added sugar per drink. Blackcurrants contain about 6% sugar so... oh, I'm going to have to convert units to do this bit... 11 lb 4 oz is 5.1 kg, 6% of 5.1 kg is 307 g, divided by 140 drinks, is 2.2 g per drink. If I managed to extract all the sugar from the currents, that's a total of 9.3 g sugar per drink, or 3.7 g per 100g. I include that last measure for comparison with a recent survey of commercial soft drinks.


  1. Ahahahahah sorry to laugh, but that is a bit funny ;-)

  2. Ooops - yes I do use a jelly bag with string.... and the string has been used many times so maybe time for fresh string. I will note not to do as much as you - I usually do about 2.5kg of fruit at one go. Even so, I STILL get juice splashed all over the place! :-)

    1. That's about the quantity I've done before - and made lots of mess - but this time I thought it would be more efficient to do a large batch all at once. It wasn't.


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