Home-made fruit cordial is a charming drink to serve in the summer – lovely to sip outside in the dappled shade of a warm day. Almost any summer fruit will do – cherries, nectarines and plums all work beautifully. Just stick to the recipe and swap the fruit as you see fit.
300g/10oz ripe strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
4 sticks of rhubarb, washed and chopped into one-inch batons
320g/11oz caster sugar
1 litre/1.75 pints water
1 tbsp rose syrup
Tip the fruit into a heavy-based pan and pour over the sugar.
Turn the heat on to very low and simmer the fruit gently for 10 minutes or until it has just begun to soften. Pour over the water and turn the heat up slightly.
Cook for a further 15 minutes then remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.
Strain the fruit and, pressing down well, stir in the rose syrup. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Dilute as you prefer with either still or sparkling water. Pour over plenty of ice and serve.