This is as simple as making juice from currants can be. You pick them, boil them in a pot with sweetener and pour them into bottles. As a sweetener, you can use 0 calorie erythritol, honey, or plain sugar.
This juice is without additives, so it is good to store by freezing. You can use this recipe to make black currant juice and white currant juice or a mix from these.
Currants, red, black, and white, grow in many people's gardens in Scandinavia. They are usually harvested in August. I like to make juice from my red currants since they are not that sweet to eat as they are. Red currants are also tasty in smoothies.
This juice is a concentrate, so mix it with some sparkling water in a ratio of 1:1 to get a refreshing drink.
This juice is great for those following a low-carb diet since it does not absorb sugar if you use stevia or erythritol. These two sweeteners are also quite nice in taste, and I found the juice to be really good with erythritol.
Just remember that anything ending in -ol, polyols don´t suit people with IBS; they get tummy cramps.
As a sweetener, you can also use a cup of honey. Regular white sugar is the cheapest option.
I have wondered what the difference is between red currant cordial and red currant juice. Even though this is a concentrate, it is not as syrupy and sweet as cordial. If you add a bit more sugar and more berries, this would become cordial syrup.
Equipment you need
- 1 big pot, at least 5 QT
- Another big pot or bowl
- Big strainer. If you don't have one, use a small tea strainer.
- Plastic bottles for freezing, or glass bottles
You can make a bigger batch than in the recipe, but then you need a bigger pot or several pots that you cook simultaneously.
- Pick and clean the berries. Remove rotten berries if you see some. Put them in a big pot.
- Cover your currants with water so all berries are covered. You can also preheat the water with a kettle. Add the sweetener. Let the mix cook for about 5-10 minutes. This guarantees that the microorganisms and small bugs are killed. If you want to add other spices or flavors to your juice, do it at this stage.
- The longer you have the juice stand at room temperature, the more intensive flavors you get. Let the mix cool for 2-12 hours before bottling. Pour the juice through a strainer. Use a dense strainer, so the seeds don't go through. The finer the strainer is, the more clear juice you get. A double fine mesh strainer is best. Mesh strainer bags are also good to make this juice with. Press the berries with your hands or with a spoon so you get all the juice out.
- Use a funnel as help in bottling. On top of the funnel, you can also use a small tea strainer if you don't own a big one to do the previous step.
- Whole aniseed
- Cinnamon stick
- Vanilla bean
If you want to use some of these flavors, add the spices as a whole in the pot when you boil the juice or after boiling. Lemon can be added as juice and as peels. Vanilla can be added as a whole cut-up bean or as a flavoring syrup or vanilla powder.
What else goes with red currants?
Strawberries or apples are great to use also in this juice. They bring sweetness and more round flavors.
You can also combine other currants like white, green, or black. Rhubarb goes also well with this juice, but it needs more sweetening since both are acidic.
The best tip to freezing
You can freeze the juice in ice cube bags. This makes a nice drink with sparkling water. The currant ice cubes can also be used in alcoholic drinks.
Nutrition facts about red currants
100 grams redcurrants have 5 grams of fiber! Although you lose it when making juice. Red currants have also vitamin C, E, and Potassium. Some amounts also Iron, calcium, magnesium, and B-vitamins, most riboflavin.
How well does the juice preserve vitamins when heated?
Heating does not affect significantly the minerals. C- and E vitamins are sensitive to heat. 5-10 minutes of boiling preserve around 70% of the vitamin amount, but if you would increase the time to 30 minutes up to 50% is destroyed.
Fast boiling is best to preserve as many vitamins as possible.
Wait until the juice is under 140F, 60C. Most freezer bottles only tolerate that as maximum heat.
Frozen berries work out just fine for the juicing in a pot. A longer boiling time is needed if they are not thawed beforehand.
Red currant juice without additive stored in the fridge for about a week. In the freezer, you can store it for up to a year.
Glass bottles break easily.
Red currant juice
- Big pot, at least 5QT, 5 litres
- Bowl or another pot
- 3 qt red currants, 6-7lb
- 9 cups water
- 1 cup sugar, stevia or erythritol
- Pick the red currants, you can leave the stems. Put the berries in a big pot and leave at least ¼ of the pot empty so it won´t boil over.
- Pour water in the pot so that the berries are covered. You can also preheat the water in a teakettle to make the process faster.
- Add the sweetener, use erythritol for a sugarfree version. Also honey or regular sugar works well.
- Boil the mix for around 5-10 minutes so that the berries become soft.
- Taste the juice and add more sweetener if you want to.
- Let the mix cool. After a couple of hours it is ready to put in bottles, but you can let it rest through the night also, just cover with something so no flies get in it.
- Strain the juice with a strainer to a bowl. Press the berries so you get all juice out.
- Pour the ready juice into freezer bottles using the funnel as help. A soup scoop is good for this job. You can also use glass bottles if you store the juice in fridge.