When we were kids I can vividly remember getting more than excited at the sound of the 'pop van' arriving in our street. My cousin Jannine and I would race out with the empties, swap them for a penny each and then choose our favourite pop to guzzle.
Jannine's was pretty much Cream Soda every time but for me it was Cherryade. Now I don't want to come across all northern and downtrodden but I think the closest I every got to an actual cherry was a bag of cherry lips (remember them?) and that artificial cherry flavour and colour seemed to pass onto the drink form perfectly. Those 70's summers were happy days for us and amazingly, the 'pop van' seemed to make it just that bit more special. We were easily pleased.
We don't get 'pop vans' these days and I can't remember the last time I saw any cherryade. That of course if probably a good thing. But you can simply make your own cherry cordial with a bag of juicy cherries that replicate the actual flavour of cherry as opposed to E287 and E992 which I drank in large quantities all those years ago.
The ginger in this 'cordial' is optional but adds an interesting heat. And from this you can make an instant sauce for duck, a filling for a sponge cake, a sauce for ice cream or the way I like to do it, in a glass with lots of ice and soda poured on top for a rustic home made cherryade. Push it through a sieve if you don't like 'bits' but sometimes life is just too short.
Cherry and Ginger Cordial
200g cherries, stoned
1 piece of stem ginger, roughly chopped
2 tbsp ginger syrup from the jar
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp water
1 - Put the cherries, stem ginger, ginger syrup, sugar and water into a pan. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the cherries are really soft.
2 - Pour it all into a blender and blend until smooth then pour into a sterilised bottle. It will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.