From Bush to Shrub

Red CurrantsThis year we had a lot of red currants, pounds and pounds and pounds. I have frozen a lot of them and we are eating them in smoothies. I will also make little red currant buns as well. I thought about making jelly for sale, but really, there were a lot, but not that many and it is a faff.  I might make a couple of pots for me and friends to eat with our lamb though.

red currants close-up

I decided to try something new. In Pam Corbin Preserves there is a recipe for a redcurrant shrub – an alcoholic cordial that you can serve on its own or with martini and orange juice etc.

I essentially used her recipe but I missed out the zest of an orange as I didn’t have any.

Redcurrant Shrub: 300ml strained redcurrant juice, 600ml rum (you could use brandy too, but we had rum), 1tsp grated nutmeg, 300g sugar.

red currants on a scale

To make the redcurrant juice put 500g of redcurrants in a pan with 200 ml of water and simmer until they are soft – takes about 45 minutes or so. Strain through a jelly bag or a bit of muslin if you are feeling lazy as I was.

draining the redcurrant juice

Take out 300ml of juice for the recipe – I think this gives you about 300ml of juice, but I am not sure as I made lots more and then adjusted the basic shrub recipe accordingly.

Mix the redcurrant juice with the rum and nutmeg in a wide necked jar – it forms a jelly – this is very very weird but apparently normal.

shrub - stage1Leave in a dark place for 7-10 days. Then pour the mixture into a pan, add the sugar and heat to about 60C. Once the sugar has dissolved strain the liquid though a jelly bag or muslin and pour into sterilised bottles.  It was hard straining the jelly type substance so I heated mine a little more to try and turn it back into liquid.

jellied shrub

Store for a couple of months for the shrub to mature.


While I am waiting for mine to mature, Joe agreed to pose with the bottle – he is an agreeable kind of cat.

shrub and cat

3 responses to “From Bush to Shrub

  1. You can add a few ounces of that to your Kombucha to flavor it as well. I make simple syrups to add to my ‘booch. Looks lovely.

  2. Pingback: Red Currant Cordial | smallholding dreams·

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