Fixing yourself a cordial or squash then proceeding to sip that drink on a warm day in the sunshine is a delight of the highest order. These refreshing drinks bring about a certain British summertime charm that pleases the kids, grandparents and everyone in between.
Brands like Belvoir, Bottle Green and Robinsons are all set to quench your thirst with flavours of elderflower, ginger, summer fruits and lemon, many of which are sugar-free too. In this article, we examine everything squash and share the 10 most tantalising drinks from Amazon, Waitrose, Tesco and Asda to knock your fruit-drinking socks right off.
This simple buying guide aims to firstly shed some much-needed light on the age-old question: is it cordial or squash? After this confusion has been lifted, you'll be shown through the defining elements of the drink, ultimately landing you on your new favourite squash... or cordial.
These two styles of concentrated fruit drink have become so closely related that, for the most part, they now represent the same thing. Here in the UK, it used to be that squash was produced in a thinner manner when compared to cordial, requiring less water dilution.
Cordial, on the other hand, has always been a thick fruit drink concentrate, typically requiring a higher amount of dilution before consuming. This is where the confusion runs rife as many brands use the two words interchangeably, all referring to a concentrated fruit drink that needs varying degrees of dilution before drinking.
With no legal naming requirements in the UK, it really comes down to each brand and whether they decide to call their product a cordial or squash. Therefore, it becomes more important to focus on what constitutes each branded cordial or squash through their ingredients and recommended water dilution.
Two parts to the cordial and squash story that are held in high regard are the real fruit percentage and the diluting advice. Cordials with a higher concentration of fruit will typically require more dilution to hit the sweet tasting spot, but not always!
The real fruit percentage of cordial and squash is a good indicator of the quality and taste of each product. For the most part, this fruit is included in a concentrated form. However, owing to their high-end nature, a few market-leading brands include fresh and pressed fruit juice instead.
If a brand leaves the real fruit percentage off their ingredient list, then there's a good chance the cordial or squash will be lacking in real fruit. It's also sometimes believed that cordial has less real fruit than squash, but this myth has also been unequivocally squashed.
On the lower end of the scale, you'll find some with as little as 5-10% real fruit, while any drink with 20% or higher should have a truly fruity taste. Some brands up the fruit-ante even more, boasting 40-50%, resulting in a stronger recipe that may require a serious amount of diluting.
Although some people will have their own tried-and-tested opinions on the diluting levels for particular cordial and squash brands, it's still a good idea to get an idea of what each brand recommends.
This is another commonly misconstrued aspect to the great 'is it cordial or squash?' debate, with people passing down Chinese-whispered knowledge as to the diluting amounts for cordial and squash specifically. All the same, each brand will have their own idea on what they believe is the preferred dilution to have a prominent but not overpowering fruit taste.
Most will state that their drink is best served after diluting 1:4 squash to water, although other drinks pack more of a concentrated punch, proclaiming their blends are best drunk with 1:9 squash to water. This results in the bottle lasting longer and you saving a bit of money!
We all know pretty well by now that the words 'natural' and 'artificial' have come to represent very different things. However, some brands are very clever with their ingredients list, looking to confuse with every long list and tricky wording they can legally muster.
Looking to drinks that proudly label either 100% natural or that they use only natural colours, flavours and sweeteners is a great way to know that you're skipping on the artificial bits. If a cordial or squash hasn't clearly labelled its natural nature, then there's a high chance it's of an artificial origin.
Now for the more fun part of your guide to all things cordial and squash. Deciding on a flavour is almost as exciting as wrapping the glass around your lips for that first insatiable sip.
Squash is a British drink through and through. Popularised throughout the Commonwealth in the 20th century, squash has always had its feet steeped deeply into British summertime life. A few of the classic British-loved flavours are, of course, orange, lemon and blackcurrant.
These are still up there in many favourite lists for being so intensely delicious, but other more modern takes are elderflower, summer fruits and even passionfruit. Whichever way you sway, just make sure it's a little bit of you and a whole lot of fruit!
Online shopping has become the new standard for a lot of us, which has conveniently allowed multipacks to be purchased and delivered directly to your door, saving some money and your back in the one swift process.
Look for cordial and squash multipacks of between 3 and 24 bottles for varying degrees of savings and stocking. You and your family will be chuffed knowing you're sorted for the entire summer with your most cherished cordial!
The way in which cordial and squash drinks are intended to be drunk is very much indicative of who will be doing the drinking. This top 10 has been thoughtfully put together to include a few kids' classics alongside more complex tasting cordials designed as alcoholic-drink alternatives or mixed into cocktails to spice them up.
|Natural/Artificial||Artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours|
|Quantity/Volume||1 x 5 L|
|Natural/Artificial||Artificial flavours, sweeteners|
|Fruit(s)||Grape, blackcurrant, raspberry|
|Quantity/Volume||1 x 2 L|
|Quantity/Volume||12 x 1 L|
|Natural/Artificial||Artificial flavours, sweeteners|
|Fruit(s)||Apple 18%, strawberry, plum, blackcurrant, cherry|
|Quantity/Volume||1.75 L (multipack available)|
|Real Fruit||Lemon 54%, pomegranate 40.5%, sloe 35.7%|
|Fruit(s)||Sloe and raspberry, pomegranate and rose, lemon and mint|
|Quantity/Volume||3 x 365 ml|
|Quantity/Volume||1 x 500 ml (multipack available)|
|Quantity/Volume||1 x 500 ml|
|Branded As||Syrup (French cordial equivalent)|
|Dilution||Add 10-20 ml to drink|
|Fruit(s)||Passionfruit + other tropical fruits|
|Quantity/Volume||1 x 700 ml|
Raspberry & Lemon Cordial
Passion Fruit Syrop
Ginger & Lemon Cordial
Three Curious Cordials
No Added Sugar Orange Squash
Double Strength Summer Fruits
Sugar Free Squash
No Added Sugar Squash
Cordial Bursting at the Seams With Real Fruit Juice
Passion Fruit Syrup From the Iconic French Brand Monin
A Tangy and Tantalising Ginger and Lemon Cordial
Hand Picked Elderflowers for a a Floral Summery Touch
A Curious Case of Three Cordials to Entice and Delight
Inexpensive Orange Squash That Doesn't Skimp on the Real Fruit
A Double-Strength Classic That Packs a Fruity Punch
A Traditional Lemon Squash With Zero Sugar and Low Calories
A Cupboard Favourite for Kids and Big Kids That's Sugar-Free
Country Range Puts the Lime in the Cordial
|Branded As||Cordial||Syrup (French cordial equivalent)||Cordial||Cordial||Cordial||Squash||Squash||Squash||Squash||Cordial|
|Real Fruit||43%||36%||20%||Unknown||Lemon 54%, pomegranate 40.5%, sloe 35.7%||20%||20%||5%||10%||10%|
|Dilution||1:8||Add 10-20 ml to drink||1:10||1:10||1:10||1:9||1:9||1:4||1:4||1:4|
|Natural/Artificial||100% natural||100% natural||100% natural||100% natural||100% natural||Artificial flavours||Artificial flavours, sweeteners||Artificial sweetener||Artificial flavours, sweeteners||Artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours|
|Fruit(s)||Raspberry, lemon||Passionfruit + other tropical fruits||Lemon, ginger||Elderflower||Sloe and raspberry, pomegranate and rose, lemon and mint||Orange||Apple 18%, strawberry, plum, blackcurrant, cherry||Lemon||Grape, blackcurrant, raspberry||Lime|
|Quantity/Volume||500 ml||1 x 700 ml||1 x 500 ml||1 x 500 ml (multipack available)||3 x 365 ml||750 ml||1.75 L (multipack available)||12 x 1 L||1 x 2 L||1 x 5 L|
Now that you've filled the cupboard with fruit of the concentrated kind, why not keep the trend going and fill the fridge too? We've ranked the 10 best orange, apple and cranberry juices found online to give your family something to smile about.
Cordial and squash drinks just seem to quench a particular thirst that very few drinks can. Maybe it's the association to summer, to Wimbledon or to feeling like a child again, we don't know. One thing we do know is that these drinks are being slurped down by people the country over right this very second, and your next favourite drink should be on its way very soon!
Author: Connor Macanally
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