Cherry Plum Cordial

Cherry plums seem to be in abundance this year and often, after making a batch or two of jam, we are wondering what we can do with the remainder.  Cordial syrup is a great choice.  The red variety will turn out a sensational scarlet colour, the yellow ones not so much, but the flavour is still great.

The syrup, aside from its use as a cordial syrup, can be used as a coulis to have ready to hand at any time.  Use as a topping for ice cream, or even to flavour a batch of homemade ice cream or panna cotta, or swirl into yoghurt.  Add a teaspoon of the syrup to a gravy or casserole even, delicious.

You can also use cherry plums to make the sparkling fruit drinks by the way – just squish them a little as you throw them into the bucket.  The fizz develops much sooner with plums than other fruit – maybe even after two or three days in the bottle, so watch for that and refrigerate as soon as this happens.

Cherry Plum Cordial

3kg cherry plums

12 cups water


3 teaspoons tartaric acid

¼ cup cider vinegar

Place the plums and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.  Simmer 15 minutes, by which time the fruit should have released its juices and be very soft.  Pour the mixture into a colander (with another pot underneath to collect the liquid), then strain the resulting fruit liquid through a fine sieve or another colander lined with a single thickness of muslin or other thin cloth.

For each cup of liquid, measure 1 cup of sugar.  Bring this mixture to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat immediately to a bare simmer and cook for two minutes.  Stir in the vinegar and tartaric acid.

Pour into warm sterilised bottles and seal immediately.

Use one part syrup to 4 to 5 parts of water or soda water.



12 thoughts on “Cherry Plum Cordial

  1. Paula says:

    I have an abundance of plums this year and have been looking for different recipes to use them up. I’ve already made some plum jam but I will definitely be trying this as well.


    • Sally Wise says:

      This syrup is really good and very versatile. I use it as a cordial syrup or as a coulis for a slice of cheesecake or pannacotta. It’s great to flavour homemade ice cream also. A couple of teaspoonfuls in a casserole style dish or gravy makes a tremendous improvement.

      I often make Sparkling Plum – a natural soft drink. do you have my sparkling rhubarb recipe? If not, I can send it to you. If you use plums in place of the rhubarb, just slash the skins before placing in the mixture. It generally only takes a few days, maybe only three to become fizzy once it’s in the bottles. Then I just refrigerate it to tone down that fizziness a bit (makes opening it less hazardous).

      You might like to try making worcestershire sauce as well, delicious made with plums. Can send you that recipe too if you like.

      I am very envious of your supply of plums by the way – I’ve not come across any so far this year. I am hoping for a great influx within the next couple of weeks. We do have quite a few on our trees here, but I would like far, far more!



  2. Claire says:

    Sounds great! Would it work with blood plums Sally? More or less sugar do you think? Also how long would it keep unopened?


  3. Len Byrne says:

    We have a few bags of last years cherries in the freezer. Can we use these in lieu of cherry plums or do you have another recipe for cherry cordial.


  4. Megan Reyneke says:

    I made this cordial last year and we all loved it – used a quarter the amount of sugar and it was delicious (we like to taste the tartness of the cherry plums) – busy making another batch right now! We use the fruit pulp that remains after straining as a topping for plain yoghurt – just as yummy


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