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.