Lemon Cordial

As well as making the occasional home-brew beer (since the early 90s), I’ve also been making “home-brew” cordials (since the late 90s). Last night I whipped up a quick lemon cordial. Lemons were cheap at Norton St Grocer, and I’d run so low on cordial that I’d had to buy some commercial stuff.

My cordials are based on a recipe given to me by Matt Davey, when we were sharing college housing in Cambridge. The original recipe as communicated to me is Matt’s Marvelous Orange Juice:

4 oranges or 3 oranges, 1 lemon
3 lbs sugar
3 pints water
1 1/2 oz citric acid
  • Grate rind and squeeze juice (or pare the rinds and liquidise in a little water then strain into a saucepan)
  • Boil sugar and water
  • When boiling, add citric acid and juice
  • Bring back to boil and remove from heat
  • Bottle when cool

I can buy citric acid at the supermarket, near the baking powder. I usually grate the rind, and leave it in the bottles, at least while it’s aging.

I often make lime variants, but for the lemon cordial I did yesterday, I used maybe 6 lemons (and no oranges!). Like homebrew beer, the cordials are only worth drinking after a couple of months in the bottle.

Comments 2

  • Hi Mark – have just made your recipe for Lemon cordial, (it’s cooling as i type) – will report back ’bout Xmas to let you know the results – My Aunt used to make this, and i’ve searched for a recipe for ages – aunt is 84! – regards Barbara

  • Thanks Barbara – please do let me know how it goes. I’m sure, like me, you’ll be tasting some straight away! My remark about drinking “after a couple of months” might be a little overboard, but the cordial will mellow after some time in the bottle.

    Part of the fun for me is tweaking the recipe over time. So if it’s not quite how your Aunt’s cordial used to taste, make and record some changes to the recipe the next time you try it. 🙂