Lately, I’d been thinking that another post about the lovely currant was long overdue. Recently, on a Sunday morning trip to the DuPont Circle farmer’s market fate stepped in when a I spied some beautiful pink currants. When I was in Ireland, I was lucky enough to have currants growing right outside my door - organic, lovely black currants. Nowadays, I have to travel a bit further to get my hands on some, but it’s worth the time.
Currants, I had thought back then, require a substantial amount of labor to prepare. I even instructed poor readers to trim the ends of each individual berry (well, perhaps that’s what makes the result so tasty!). Believe me, I’m not looking for the level of dedication and work that something even reminiscent of the infamous Bar le Duc jam requires (which I will treat myself to one day). After pouring over recipes for a short time, I actually decided to branch out a bit and develop a recipe of my own. It’s a pretty simple cordial, so there wasn’t a lot of “development” required.
I can see mixing this cordial with a bit of seltzer water + a drop of gin for a refreshing drink on a summer day. But really, it can be used in other ways, too...you might want to add a teaspoon or so to a glass of champagne. Don’t limit yourself to pink currants with this recipe - just be sure to adjust the amount of sugar you use as pink currants are known to be sweeter than either their black or red cousins.
For this recipe, I used pink currants which are known to be sweeter than black or red currants. If you're using black or red, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar to suit.
Yield: about 8 oz. of liquid
300 grams pink currants
140 ml water
dash of ginger
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
130 grams sugar
1. Place the berries into a medium sized, non-reactive pot with the water. There's no need to remove the stems. Cook over low heat for a few moments and then raise the heat and bring to a boil for one minute.
2. Once the berries begin to burst, crush them well with a potato ricer or fork.
3. Remove from the heat, add the ginger and orange zest and stir to combine. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap (so that the wrap is touching the surface of the mixture) and let sit for two hours.
4. Remove the plastic wrap, add the sugar and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
5. Using a fine strainer, strain the mixture to remove the stems, seeds, etc.
6. The cordial is now ready to use as a mixer with club soda, water, etc.
I hope you’ll let me know how yours turns out!