A lot of Home Brew Answers is dedicated to making alcoholic drinks and beverages. Todays recipe is for a soft drink. Having something non-alcoholic and full of flavour in the house means you don’t get tempted into unhealthy ways.
Making something like this Lemon and Ginger Cordial at home means you know exactly what is in it. There are no artificial flavourings, sweeteners and you can dictate exactly how much of each ingredient is in it. If you love ginger put more in, grab some fresh ginger use that as well. It’s entirely up to you. I like the warming soft note of ground ginger in this recipe but feel free to tweak it.
This cordial recipe will hands down beat any cordial you buy from a shop and it’s one of the simplest things to do, it’ll only take 15 minutes from start to finish to make it. If you have never made a cordial before then this is the one to try I’ll be revealing an awesome trick to get maximum lemon flavour.
This recipe has so few ingredients that you’ll be amazed at the flavour that comes out in the final cordial. It only uses 6 lemons but the trick to getting the most from the flavour comes down to how you treat the skins.
The thing about lemons is that most of the lemony flavour comes from the zest. Just take a look at this limoncello recipe, all the flavour comes from the zest and similarly this cordial recipe makes use of that principle.
The zest is full of oils which are full of flavour boiling in water is perfect for drawing these aromatics out of the lemon zest.
Maximum Lemon Flavour
The key to getting so much flavour out of the lemons is to pare off the rind without taking too much white pith (a speed peeler is great for this) and to boil the zest in a half pint of water for 6 minutes. In that 6 minutes you’ll find the water turns brilliantly yellow and intensely lemony. Check the recipe below for full details
Lemon Cordial Recipe
What you’ll need
½ Pint of Boiling Water
Ground Ginger (optional)
For each ½ pint of liquid: 85 grams of Sugar
- Begin by shaving off the outer zest of your lemons, you want to take of just the outer layer and avoid any of the white pith beneath as much as possible. A speed peeler is good for this and the larger peel is easier to remove later.
- Put the zest into a pan with the ½ pint of boiling water and simmer gently for roughly 6 minutes.
- Start juicing all 6 of the lemons and get as much juice out of them as possible. After the 6 minutes remove the zest from the heat and strain the to remove the zest. Add the juice and water together in a measuring jug to find out how much liquid you have.
- Add the 85 grams of sugar per half pint of liquid so a pint would need 170 grams of sugar. Bring to the boil in a pan and ensure all the sugars dissolved.
- Remove from heat and pour into sterilised bottles whilst still hot.
Dilute, Serve & Enjoy
Dilute the cordial to your taste, it’s quite strong so you may only need 1 part cordial to 7 part water but of course alter to your taste.
Theses sorts of recipes can easily be made into soda’s just by diluting with carbonated water. Maybe try some sparkling water to make it more effervescent, you will notice the flavours change and are brighter with the added carbonation.
Storage and Shelf Life
Keep the cordial refrigerated and it will keep for 1-2 weeks.