Fruit cordials

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These can be made from many fruits and form the basis of summer drinks or winter cures. The most suitable fruits are blackberries, blackcurrants, loganberries, raspberries and strawberries. Put the fruit into a large earthenware basin and break it up with a wooden spoon, no water need be added, except to blackberries and blackcurrants. For these, add just enough water to start the flow of juice. Put the basin of fruit over a pan of hot water on the stove. Keep the water in the bottom pan on the boil, crush the fruit occasionally. When all the juice has been extracted put the fruit into a double muslin bag and leave it to strain overnight.
Add 12oz/350g sugar to each pint/500ml juice and stir till thoroughly dissolved. Strain again into clean bottles, filling to within 1in/2.5cm of the top of the bottle. Cork securely, using new corks. Secure the corks with string, then sterilize. Put the bottles into a pan of cold water. The water must reach to within an inch of the top of the bottles. Bring the water to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Dip the corks in melted paraffin wax, and store the bottles in a cool dark place.

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