After recently coming out of hospital, I found lurking in the bottom of the fridge a couple of tired, old lemons, bought several weeks ago and now not much use for anything other than the bottom of the bin. However, I really do not like to waste anything, and with the practical help from an assistant, as I can’t chop or lift anything for a few more weeks, we made an old favourite of mine – Lovely lemon cordial.
The recipe is inspired from my nanny J, who used to make batches of this all summer when I was a child, I have never found a recipe written down in her books, so this is my take on it. Also the quantities are a bit rough and ready but I’m sure you will find your own balance, to suit your personal taste.
Once its made, just top up with water as needed, mixing well with a long wooden spoon, and leave to sit a while before using again. The cordial will keep refrigerated for a couple of weeks. It is hard to give an exact date, though when you feel the cordial is losing its edge, it’s probably time to make a new batch up!
Depending on your personal taste, and how bitter your lemons were to begin with, dilute with ice cold water or sparkling water on a 1/6 ratio.
2-3 washed, unloved lemons, roughly sliced
5-6 tbsp caster sugar
You will need a tall glass, lidded jug, I think mine is about 2 litre quantity.
Rinse the jug out with freshly boiled water, add the lemons and sugar, bash about a little with a splash of boiling water and a long spoon, top up with boiling water and place the lid on, leave until cooled down and then refrigerate, allow 24 hours if you can before trying, to allow the flavourings to mingle together.
I love the joyful bitterness of this, even drinking a glass on a cold and wet afternoon, it can’t help but bring a little smile to your face, and think of the (hopefully!) sunnier months to come!
Hope you enjoy!