A visitor to the estate this afternoon asked how I make the rhubarb cordial we serve in The Barn, it’s very easy and the perfect way to use a glut of fruit. Although of course it isn’t a fruit.

You’ll need,
3kg rhubarb,
lemon juice and sugar, the amount depends on the quantity of juice you get.

Chop the rhubarb, about 1/2″ thick and place in a large stainless steel pan, add about 200ml of water and pace the pan on a low to medium heat. Slowly and gently stew the fruit until it is a complete mush, stir from time to time to avoid burning the fruit.
Wet a large piece of muslin and ring out any excess water, use it to line a large bowl letting the corners hang over the side. Pour the cooked fruit into the muslin, gather the corners and suspend over the bowl over night to collect the juice.

Measure the juice and pour into a clean stainless steel pan, to every 2 litres of juice add 1.5kg of sugar and 150ml of lemon juice. Place on a medium heat and slowly bring the cordial up to 80°C. Stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Heat recycled glass bottles, I use litre size mineral water bottles, in a low oven set at about 100°c.
When the cordial reaches 80°c and the bottles are hot, use a funnel to pour the cordial into the bottles. Put the tops on the bottles and lie them on their side to cool. This sterilises the inside of the lid and any air in the bottles.
When cold, wipe the bottles clean, label and store in a cool dark place.

The cordial should keep for up to a year unopened, but keep an opened bottle in the fridge.

Adrian.