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Blackberry, Elderberry and Star Anise Cordial

Nature Gives to Every Time and Season Some Beauties of its Own

Charles Dickens

There is a real feel of summer merging into autumn.

Nature gently shows us this transition. The air suddenly seems to take on a different feel, and while the days might still be warm there is certainly something changeable about September.

Cobnuts are on the ground here and there. The leaves are beginning to turn and there is a slight scattering of prickly green chestnuts. The squirrels must love this time of year.

The elderflower is a distant summer memory as the elderberries appear in their place, hanging like black shiny jewels.

Blackberry, Elderberry and Star Anise CordialBlackberries are ripe and sweet, daring you to pluck one from the thorny branches.

These black beauties are a wonderful source of vitamin C, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, E, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Nature has medicine in abundance.

The elderberry arrives in time to boost the immune system before the cold snap, helping prevent colds and viruses. They too are high in nutrients and antioxidants. Studies show their potent anti-viral activity and benefits reducing the length and severity of influenza.



Star anise, an aromatic and sweet flavoured fruit dates back 3000 years to southern China and Southeast Asia.

Numerous active compounds in this star shaped fruit contribute to its extensive list of health benefits. One of the compounds was a primary ingredient in Tamiflu, the antiviral drug. It is also anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal.

A wonderful mix from natures treasure chest.

This cordial is warming and protective, transitioning us in to this new season.


12oz mix of blackberries and elderberries (berries easily removed with a stroking down action with a fork)

8oz sugar

Pared rind of one unwaxed lemon

2 star anise


Place the blackberries and elderberries in a saucepan. Mash them up a bit with a potato masher. Add the 2 star anise and lemon rind.

Just cover with water, about 600ml.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain through a cloth and sieve over a jug. At the end I squeeze the bag to get the remaining juice out.

Add the liquid back to the cleaned saucepan, add the sugar, bring to the boil, stirring and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour in to a clean bottle.

Dilute with sparkling water.

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