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Chilli cordial


24 chillies, fresh or dried

3 cups water

2 lemons

2 cups sugar

2 tsp tartaric acid

Simmer chillies for 15-20 minutes. Scoop out. Add sugar; boil 5 mins; add other ingredients. Bring to the boil. bottle. Keep in a cool place. Throw out if it looks or smells odd.

Frozen fruit Salad Iceblocks

1 pineapple, chopped

1  rockmelon, chopped

10 bananaschopped

1 cup sugar

1 tsp mint, chopped, optional

pulp of 10 passionfruit

You can also add chopped peaches, apricots, apple


You will also need: iceblock moulds or plastic or disposable cups

iceblock sticks or teaspoons

Mix well. pour into iceblock moulds, or plastic cups or even disposable cups. Poke an iceblock stick or teaspoon into each one; freeze, and eat.

Grown up IceBlocks

(Pretty fantastic for kids too)

1 cup pineapple, chopped

1 cup rockmelon, chopped

1 banana. chopped

half cup cream

half cup sugar

half cup water OR Champagne or good white wine

juice half a lemon

1 tsp mint, chopped, optional OR 1tsp ginger root, peeled and chopped, optional

half cup grapes, optional

half cup paw paw, chopped, optional

half cup strawberries, chopped, optional

half cup lychees, chopped, optional

You will also need: iceblock moulds or plastic or disposable cups, iceblock sticks or teaspoons


Boil sugar and water or wine with the mint or ginger (or no ginger and mint as you prefer) for 5 minutes. Cool.

Add the fruit. You must have pineapple and banana and preferably rockmelon too, but other fruit can be added from the list.

Take long ice block moulds, or plastic cups or even disposable cups. Pour about tub of cream into each, then carefully add the fruit mixture, so that the cream stays mostly at the bottom, and doesn't mix through it too much. Poke an ice block stick or teaspoon into each one; freeze, and eat.

Extremely delicious kumquat or mandarin cordial

This is very easy to make, and so delicious I'm astounded that I invented it. I've been trying to come up with a really good citrus cordial for years. But this is lovely stuff: just slightly bitter and not too sweet but as no pulp is cooked there's no marmalade taste.

Slice 2 cups kumquats or mandarins in a bowl. Add two cups sugar and leave till it's liquid - about 4 hours with the occasional bash with a spoon.  Drain out liquid and add two scant teaspoons of tartaric acid to it and boil three minutes. Bottle. Keeps for weeks but throw out if it looks cloudy or bubbles or looks or smells odd.

Fruit crush

You need a blender to make this. It is extraordinarily fresh and good and fruity.


You'll need:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp tartaric acid
3 cups ripe fragrant strawberries (quarter them if they're large) OR
3 cups ripe fragrant pineapple, chopped (def not canned) OR
3 cups squishy ripe mulberries OR
3 cups very ripe raspberries (pick out all beetles)


Freeze the fruit FAST i.e. don't bung it in a crowded freezer or all bunched up together.

Place fruit in a plastic freezer bag and freeze in a single layer.

Use within two days or the fruit will lose a lot of its fragrance. If possible, use as soon as its frozen.
Boil other ingredients for five minutes. Refrigerate till very cold – semi-frozen is even better.
Throw fruit in blender.

Add 1 cup of syrup; turn on blender and process. Add more syrup only if the mixture is too thick for the blender to process.
Serve at once. It will be semi-frozen and slightly liquid; eat what you can with a spoon and slurp up the rest.
(PS A few mint leaves go well with the pineapple; a little orange zest added to the syrup when it's cooking is good with strawberries).

Lillypilly Cordial

Lillypillies are not what you'd call a tasty fruit - a bit like flavoured cardboard. That's because they don't have much sugar in them naturally- but just add sugar to make them into cordial, and wow!


Make sure your lillypillies aren't over ripe - pick them as soon as they are large and have a good colour. If you wait too long after that they can have a bit of a  bitter taste.


Now put three cups of lillypillies into a stainless steel saucepan- don't worry about a few stalks but make sure there's no beetles; add four cups of water, and boil the heck out of them till the lillypillies are tender. This takes about ten to twenty minutes.


Press the lillypillies through a sieve; take their juice and add two cups of sugar, the juice of two lemons, and one teaspoon tartaric acid. Bring to the boil; simmer five minutes. Pour into a clean bottle...and there you are. Don't drink it if it starts bubbling, grows wierd mould or smells peculiar- but it shouldn't. And it is very good stuff- and looks a stunner.

Vietnamese Coffee icecream

You'll need:

240g can of condensed milk
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
 1 small cup coffee made 3 times as strong as usual
3 egg yolks


Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan.

Place the saucepan over low heat, whisking frequently, until a custard forms on a spoon and a finger swiped across the back leaves a thick line.

Don’t  make it a high heat or stop stirring or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs, not custard
Pour into a plastic container with a lid then place in the freezer.

Freeze for two hours, whisk well, then freeze another two hours, and whisk. Freeze again. Eat

Homemade ginger beer

(For those feeling summery already)


2 litres of water

2 sliced lemons

a fresh ginger root, roughly chopped

2 cups of raw sugar for ten minutes


Add a pinch of yeast when lukewarm. Keep the lid on the pot overnight then bottle in plastic, not glass.

Ready in two days. Don't keep longer than a week as it may become more alcoholic. NB As this is brewed tin may contain minute of alcohol even after two days. Not suitable for children or pregnant women. 

Passion fruit Cordial


Two cups of sugar

Half a cup of water

One cup of passionfruit pulp

Juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon

1 teaspoon tartaric acid


Boil the water and sugar for five minutes; take off the heat; pour in the pulp and juice. Simmer five minutes. Strain. Add tartaric acid. Stir well and bottle at once. Keep in the fridge. Throw out if it fizzes or grows mould.

Really Red Raspberry and Lemon Cordial


This is very red, very fruity and very very good!

2 kg sugar

1 packet frozen raspberries

2 cups lemon or lime juice

6 teaspoons tartaric acid (you can buy this in the supermarket)

4 cups water


Boil everything for ten minutes. Strain out the raspberry lumps in a strainer. Use a funnel to pour the cordial into clean- sterilised if possible- bottles.

Keep in a cool place, and if it looks or smells odd or starts bubbling throw it out! Just remember it doesn't have any preservatives in it, so it won't last very long before going bad. But it should be fine for two weeks or so. If the weather is hot keep it in the fridge, or freeze it if you want to keep it for more than a couple of weeks.

To use: just use like other cordial- put a splash in a glass and top with water.

ps you can use blueberries or blackberries or cherries instead of raspberries

World’s Best Lemon Cordial

I was first given this by an elderly neighbour. I drank three glasses and would have drunk more if I hadn’t already looked greedy. It’s fruity, not too sweet, and the most refreshing drink for a hot summer's day


You'll need:

2 cups lemon juice

3 cups sugar

6 cups water

6 tsp citric acid

6 tsp tartaric acid


Boil everything for five minutes.

Bottle while still hot; seal and keep in a cool place for up to three weeks.

Throw out if it ferments or turns cloudy.

To use: Splash a few tablespoons into a glass; add ice and cold water.

Or make a large jug, or two or three.

There won’t be leftovers.

Red Christmas Cordial

If you want a really bright red cordial, get yourself about 250gm - 350gm of blueberries - frozen if absolutely necessary or cranberries or raspberries or home grown mulberries, or even lillypillies if you were sensible enough to plant a lillypilly tree about five years ago.

Lillypillies make the best jam or cordial I've ever tried. 

Taste the fruit first - if it tastes like old cardboard you need more fruit to get a decent flavour.


You'll need:

250gm - 350gm of chosen fruit

2 cups water

1 cup lime or lemon juice

2 tsp tartaric acid


Boil the sugar and water for 10 minutes. Add the fruit and juice, simmer five minutes.

Take off the heat, squish well with a spoon, strain, add the tartaric acid, bottle and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Actually I keep homemade cordial for a lot longer than two weeks this way but if your family friends and neighbors all drop dead from drinking it you can't blame me.

Do remember that if it starts to bubble change color or grow interesting fungi, it's really only useful as a kid's zoology project.
Makes about 2 bottles of cordial. 


Ginger Cordial

Neither of these cordials contain preservatives; they should last for a few weeks, but do keep an eye on them and store in a cool place. If they look cloudy or fizzy or smell odd, discard at once.

1 cup grated ginger (don't bother to peel)

2 cups sugar

1 tsp citric acid

2 tsp tartaric acid

3 cups water

Simmer ginger in the water for 15-20 minutes, or till really gingery. Drain off ginger; add sugar; boil 5 mins; add other ingredients. Bottle. Add a little caramelised sugar if you want it to be dark brown- I don't bother.

Add ice and water for cordial, or soda water or mineral water for ginger ale. Store in a cool place. throw out if it looks or smells odd.


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