Strawberry and black pepper cordial

This cult flavour pairing brings a piquant sophistication to summer's star turn.

Makes: about 1 litre


900g strawberries, hulled and halved
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
300g granulated sugar


1. In a pan, heat the strawberries and peppercorns with 280ml water. Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes, or until the strawberries have completely broken down.

2. Line a colander with muslin and sit it over a large bowl. Pour in the strawberry mixture, then tie the corners of the muslin, remove the colander and suspend the muslin over the bowl. Leave the mixture to strain into the bowl overnight.

3. Pour the strained juice into a clean pan, stir in the sugar and heat gently until dissolved. Bring to the boil and bubble for a few minutes until slightly syrupy, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Transfer to sterilised bottles with a heatproof funnel and seal.