Oh so cordial cordial…

A few weeks ago I paid tribute to poor old Blood Orange Posset, the deliciously delicate pudding that got lumbered with the worst name in the world. As if we needed reminding that life isn’t fair, along swooshes the elegant, beautiful, perfectly-named Apple Mint Cordial. If Blood Orange Posset and Apple Mint Cordial were guests at a wedding, BOP would be in the back row, behind a pillar and forced to wear a hat picked by Princess Beatrice, while AMC would be in the front pew dressed entirely in Alexander McQueen.

Not that it’s cordial’s fault. And I do love food that’s both a noun and an adjective. To drink a cordial that is cordial is very satisfying, although that might just be the cranky way my mind works. (While I’m on the subject of grammar, food that’s both a noun and a verb is weirdly full of fat – think of lard, milk, butter and oil).

This particular cordial will quench your thirst at a glance.

Apple Mint Cordial

Makes about 1 litre

1kg apples – Cox’s are best, although I used Royal Gala here

320 grams caster sugar

Finely pared peel of one unwaxed lemon

1 litre water

2 large handfuls of fresh mint leaves plus extra for serving

Chop the apples roughly, but don’t bother to peel or core them. Place them in a large pan with the sugar, water and lemon. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer. Add the mint leaves.

Simmer gently for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the apple is soft and mushy. Turn off the heat and pour the entire lot into a jelly-making bag and allow it to drip slowly through into a bowl for a couple of hours. You can squish it through with the back of a ladle if you like, but I prefer to leave it to its own devices so that it emerges on the other side as a clear rather than cloudy pink liquid. Pour into sterilised bottles. It will keep in the fridge for about a week. Alternatively, you can freeze it into ice cubes and use them at your leisure. Add about 1/3 cordial to 2/3 still or sparkling water and serve with plenty of ice and a handful of fresh mint leaves.

Drink your Apple Mint Cordial while making a consoling, slightly smug toast to poor old Blood Orange Posset.



  1. Sorry poor old Blood Orange Posset got a (nominally) bad press – from me amongst others – as I'm sure it was delicious. The cordial cordial is, I bet, equally delicious as it certainly looks it in the customarily great photos. Must plant some more mint as mine got killed by the cold weather early in the year.

  2. Hi MichaelThanks for commenting. It was very quick and easy to make – one of those recipes that looks as though it was a lot more trouble than it really was.Charlie

  3. Hello JakeyI don't know why my mint survived since it was buried under snow several times last year. And yes, the cordial really does taste good. I'm still trying to find a new name for the Blood Orange Posset.

  4. Looks deliciously refreshing and will look forward to making it one of thesedays, maybe when my apples are in abundance. When I do I might be temptedto raise a glass to an 'entente cordiale' between the houses of PhilipTreacy and Alexander McQueen as I fear that wrought iron gate of a hatPrincess Beatrice was given to wear by Philip Treacy will do neither oftheir images any good…. someone has already referred to Eugenie andBeatrice as the ugly sisters yesterday. A bit harsh perhaps but in my booknot a nomenclature for the posset and the cordial!

  5. Hi mitzi FritzPrincess Beatrice's hat was shocking – I'm starting to feel sorry for Philip Treacy whose work I normally love. Glad you like the look of the cordial – let me know how it goes if you try it.

  6. Lovely recipe and a lovely colour – like the rhubarb of the last post (which I imitated, very good flavours) and the blood orange posset which doesn't need a new name (though Waitrose have tried with 'blush orange' which I find a bit insipid).Poor Beatrice and Eugenie, they always seem to struggle and never quite get it right. Philip Treacy should know when to say no to someone by now. I thought Miriam Gonzalez Durantez (Mrs Clegg) extremely stylish.

  7. btw I love your apple trough, did you buy it or was it made for you? I once saw something similar with long legs in a magazine, but think I might have to get a friend's Dad to make it if I want one

  8. Hi oxslip Glad you enjoyed the rhubarb and I completely agree about 'blush orange' – it sounds like a new addition to the Dulux paint range. I haven't spoken to anyone else who liked MGD's outfit but, like you, I thought she looked fantastic – both dramatic and chic.

  9. I can tell you exactly where to find one – Cox and Cox's website, although they call it a french bread holder! – and, even better, when I got mine it was in the sale

  10. Hi AnwenThanks so much for commenting – I always love to hear what everyone thinks. The cordial is very picnicy and of course there's nothing better than a picnic in my opinion.Charlie

  11. Thank you – Cox&Cox bookmarked.Btw apparently Princess Beatrice's hat has its own Facebook page and plenty of photoshopped versions (cat stepping out of it etc.) out there too now. Oh dear, now I feel sorry for her.

  12. I loved making this cordial but only made it with apples that were to hand at the time – not 'as recommended' – the cordial tasted less apple-y (a hint) and more water plus sugar…..do you think the mistake here was not using 'as recommended' apples? Please let me know. Thought it a lovely idea though and very easy to make. Thanks

  13. Hi RoseI'm so pleased you enjoyed making the cordial. I really do recommend using Cox's because they have such a strong flavour and are sharp enough to counterbalance the sugar. So many varieties of apples in supermarkets are disappointing, especially in something as delicate as a cordial. Let me know how it tastes if you try Cox's next time. Thanks for leaving a comment – I really do appreciate it. Charlie

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