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Homemade Blackcurrant Leaf Juice

by Saara

This is one of those childhood recipes. You know… those treats that you only got to taste once or twice as a kid. My mother did not make this cordial despite all the begging but luckily now as an adult, I can make all the blackcurrant leaf juice I want and so should you. The cordial epitomes the taste of the summer garden. Are you ready?

Taste of summer

How to get started making Blackcurrant Leaf Cordial?

Blackcurrants are popular for the berries but the leaves should not be ignored either. Not only are they fantastic flavor agents in pickling but can also elevate many sweet things in the form of a cordial.

The blackcurrant plant does not get offended at all when you pluck its leaves. Only blackcurrant leaves (cassis) have the aroma, don’t mix with other varieties.

Choose fresh, medium green leaves and ignore the damaged ones. Towards the end of summer, you want to pay attention when choosing the leaves. The rule of thumb I’ve learned is that the leaves are plucked before the berries are fully developed.

Now, timing this depends on where you live, the quality of the summer, and the fact what kind of plants you have since there are early and late blackcurrant varieties. Do not worry though. To make 2,5 liters of blackcurrant leaf cordial, you only need 60-70g of fresh black currant leaves.

How can I use the blackcurrant leaf cordial?

And as I mentioned, you only need 60-70g of fresh black currant leaves to make 2,5 liters of blackcurrant leaf cordial. That’s a lot of cordial. You can make a smaller batch and still give a gift bottle to a neighbor. When the cordial is stored in sterilized glass bottles, you can reimagine summer again whenever you feel like it. Make killer cocktails or blackcurrant leaf popsicles. Or impress everybody with your blackcurrant leaf sorbet! So many ways to use this cordial in the kitchen.

If you’re still not sure if the leaves are okay, let’s take an example from our cottage garden. Our blackcurrants (the berries) are usually picked in early August so making this leaf juice from early June to late July is usually possible. The age of the plant is a factor, however. We trimmed and cut down our blackcurrant plants last year so we’re not getting too many berries this summer. Instead, the currants are crazy growing new branches and the leaves are a vibrant green still in August.

Blackcurrant Leaf Juice | Recipe

The following recipe gives you 2,5 liters of cordial with a blending ratio of 1:5. Remember to sterilize bottles, seals, corks, and whatnot as well as the filter bag.

Each leaf weighs approximately 1 gram so you’ll need 6-70 grams of leaves. Should you have less than that, consider making a smaller batch of the cordial. But this is not that serious.

Washing blackcurrant leaves

Blackcurrant Leaf Juice Cordial

Print recipe
Makes/Serves: 2,5 litres Prep Time: Cooking time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 liters blackcurrant leaves (approximately 65 grams)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 liters water
  • 1200 g caster sugar
  • 25g citric acid

METHOD

Pluck 2 liters of blackcurrant leaves. Wash them thoroughly and set them aside. Boil 2 liters of water and then transfer the leaves into the kettle. Let the kettle cool.

Add 25g of citric acid and juice of a lemon into the cordial mix. Cover the kettle/dish with a lid and leave at room temperature overnight (up to 12h). Wash the juice bottles so that they can dry overnight.

The next day, place your washed bottles in a cold oven and heat them at 125°C / 257°F for 15 minutes. Dip the seals, corks, and the cloth in boiling water.

Strain the juice mixture into a kettle. In addition to a strainer, filtering the juice through a sterilized muslin bag* is a good idea. Finally, press all the juice from the leaves. Add sugar and slowly bring the juice cordial to boil (takes 15-20 minutes). 

When bubbles hit the surface, remove the kettle from the stove. Bottle the hot cordial (not boiling) to the hot bottles. Leave little air space in the bottles and close them immediately.

Leave the bottles to cool at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge. The cordial will keep 3-4 months in the fridge. Alternatively, you can bottle cold cordial into freezer-friendly cans or boxes, and store it in the freezer for longer.

NOTES

Use the blackcurrant leaf cordial for juices, summer fizz, popsicles, sorbet, and other desserts.

Did you make this recipe?
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Homemade juice

What if I don’t have citric acid?

Citric acid enhances the blackcurrant leaf flavor and preserves the juice longer. If you don’t have citric acid, I suggest you add an extra lemon and freeze the cordial in suitable containers/bottles.

Did you know you can also make blackcurrant leaf sparkling aka Louhisaari drink?

Homemade blackcurrant leaf sparkling is prepared in a similar manner as my other homemade fizz sima (find the fermenting method here in my post). This Finnish bubbly summer drink is called ‘Louhisaari drink’ after the 17th-century manor where president Mannerheim was born. The man was a serious gourmand and made the drink famous (the original recipe reference here in Finnish). This summer I took the shortcut and just mixed the blackcurrant leaf cordial with bubbly water with a stronger ratio. Kippis and cheers!

Love, Saara

This is a good classic recipe to get to know blackcurrant leaf juice. I love it in this simplest form but I’ve also made combinations with mint leaves and fresh rosemary. Now I’ll give this recipe to you & hope you’ll get creative with it :)

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7

Eli 2020-07-06 - 2:34 AM

Hi there, what is the reason for only using leaves before the fruit is fully ripe? My plant has surely ripened most of the fruit, but there are still some stragglers.

Reply
Saara 2020-07-07 - 10:10 AM

It’s the folk’s wisdom, kind of rule thumb to use fresh leaves and make the juice before fall hits the plant. It really depends on the individual, the cassis plant pushes new leaves on new branches throughout summer in some cases.

Saara

Reply
Dan Fortin 2020-05-10 - 12:48 AM

Have you put the leaves on a scale, I would enjoy knowing about how many grams of leaves to use… can you help…
How about making blackcurrant leaf tea, how many grams per liter of tea???

Thanks

Reply
Saara 2020-05-28 - 2:03 PM

Hello Dan! Thanks for the idea, I will scale the leaves next time I make this cordial, during June. I will then update the recipe accordingly :)

Saara

Reply
Saara 2020-06-28 - 11:20 AM

Hello Dan! So my measurement of the 2 liters of leaves is 65 grams. One leaf is approximately 1 gram. You can confidently make this cordial if you have 50-70 grams of leaves but if you have less, I suggest you scale the recipe accordingly.

Reply
Spa Matson 2020-05-01 - 8:46 PM

How do you measure 2 litres of leaves?

Reply
Saara 2020-05-01 - 8:57 PM

Hi! Just loosely pile the freshly picked leaves in a measurent dish (don’t press tight). 2 litres equals 8.45 cups

Saara

Reply

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