Rhubarb and Strawberry Cordial

You should be getting a glut of strawberries during July but this is the month you should stop picking your rhubarb. After the second week of July it is not advisable to pick rhubarb as it needs to grow over the remains of the summer to store all it needs to get through winter and grow next spring. However, the recipe below is a great way to combine two fruits that compliment each other and it beats just churning out another batch of jam. This cordial is the taste of summer, and will remind you in the depths of winter of warm sunny days long forgotten in the face of driving cold.

Don't let your strawberries rot on the crown, no need to jam, juice!


PIG ROW RHUBARB & STRAWBERRY CORDIAL

INGREDIENTS
1.5kg of chopped rhubarb
500g of strawberries
2 large oranges
1.5 litres of cold water
Citric Acid (optional)
1.2kg granulated sugar

METHOD
Cook the rhubarb and strawberries in a pan with the cold water with grated orange peel from 1 orange and the juice from both. You can get the most juice out of them by rolling them before cutting, this loosens up the juice and makes them easier to squeeze. When the rhubarb and strawberries break down into a mush leave to cool for 1 hour. Strain juice through a fine sieve into another pan and put back on a low hear, add the 1.2kg of sugar and citric acid (you only need to add the citric acid if you want to store this). Stir until all the sugar has melted into the juice and pour into sterilised bottles (here's a quick way to sterilise glass).

This great tasting cordial will store and make your friends jealous. Who needs jam?