June 22nd, 2009


Gooseberry Ginger Ale, Memories of My Grandmother

Last week we went to Cammas Hall Farm to pick strawberries and gooseberries. Once we got home it was all systems go and we were fired up to make as many dishes from our harvest as possible. The Gooseberry juices where flowing and so was my imagination. I thought of plenty of recipes that I could try with these round hairy little numbers.

When mum announced that she will be visiting I asked if she could bring my grandmothers recipe book. It caused a bit of a stir amongst some of the relatives, but  mum brought the book  however she will be taking it back when she returns. We were paging through Grannies book and amongst the tears there was a lot of laughter as we came across some of the most bizarre recipes you could possibly want in one’s collection. From recipes to make soap, home made golden syrup all the way through to ginger beer, adjar, spiced sausage, tripe, brawn and many more interesting delights. I cannot criticise anyone for making spelling or grammatical mistakes but my Granny’s book has some of the strangest references. You have to have a vivid imagination to follow some of the recipes or just simply amend it as you go along.

When I roasted the gooseberries for Gills cheesecake, I tossed the gooseberries with sugar and ground ginger,  the taste was lovely and it reminded me of ginger ale. Mum paged through Grannies book and found three recipes for ginger beer. One was unusable as it calls for crystals, we are still wondering what kind of crystals she’s referring to. We settled for the third one, after a bit of engineering,I ended up with a cordial for this wonderful gooseberry ginger ale.

I will be making this recipe for many years to come, remembering this glorious Sunday afternoon in the kitchen with mum, grannies recipe book and the gooseberries.

It’s a terrific recipe even if I have to say so myself, refreshing when let down with sparkling water and a couple of ice cubes.


Gooseberry Ginger Ale Syrup

  • 300g fresh gooseberries
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 50g sultanas
  • 20g fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 200g water

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Trim the stalks from the gooseberries, wash and drain them.

In a large mixing bowl mix the sugar, gooseberries and ground ginger.

Transfer the gooseberries to a large lined roasting tray, roast the gooseberries for 30 minutes.

Let the roasted gooseberries cool completely.

While the roasted gooseberries cool, soak the sultanas inwater, until the sultanas are swollen and plump.

Transfer the cooled roasted gooseberries, soaked sultanas and water, fresh ginger and the juice of one lemon into the Thermomix bowl.

Blend on speed 10 for 1 minute.

Pour the thick syrup into a clean sterilized bottle, refrigerate and mature the cordial for one week before using.

To serve

Dilute the chilled cordial to taste with chilled sparkling water.

Makes approxiamtly 900g cordial

Food Fanatics Tip

According to Grannies book if you would like to make ginger beer you need to add one sachet of yeast, one teaspoon of tartaric acid  and an extra litre of water to the cordial stage. Keep the mixture in a large container and do not seal it too tightly as it cold explode as the yeast action kicks in. Never use glass bottles. Let it ferment for about 2 day's. Once fermented you can keep the ginger beer in sealed sterilized bottles for up to one week, it will start to loose it's fizz after a while.

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4 Comments to “Gooseberry Ginger Ale, Memories of My Grandmother”

  1. Logan says:


    This sounds great, I’m going to make some right now, just wondering, how long does this last in the fridge? Also can it be frozen?


  2. Milomade says:

    I personally would use twice the amount of gooseberries to sugar and also add more water. I also sieved my juice in order to get rid of all the bits. I’ve now got three bottles of the stuff in the fridge and it tastes lovely. Still think it’s awfully sweet, but next time I make it will probably add half the amount of sugar and think that’ll make it perfect to my taste.

  3. cheesereport says:

    I don’t have a thermomix :-(

    Hi Martin,

    That’s not a problem, you can use any blender. Blend it slightly longer as the Thermomix is quite powerful, any blender will do! The Thermomix is slowly becoming the no.1 must have kitchen gadget in the UK.

    Happy Cooking, please do not restrain from trying this wonderful recipe!

    Best Wishes

  4. hmm..i will have to go on the hunt for gooseberries. what a lovely post and tribute to your grandmother. looks just divine!

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