IF YOU READ MY WHY I WRITE POST LAST WEEK, YOU'LL KNOW THAT WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I HAD A LEMONADE STAND OUT THE FRONT OF OUR HOUSE.
It truly was the best lemonade stand that had ever existed to my six year old mind, and I made sure I had the best lemonade to sell to passers-by.
Now I'm fairly sure the lemon cordial used on those lazy summer days was of the supermarket variety :)
But, as happens with poignant childhood memories, I've held every glass of cordial and lemonade, homemade or otherwise, that I've drank since then, up to the standard of that stall!
So a few years ago, in a bid to recreate that almost mythical taste, I made my first batch of Homemade Lemon Cordial - and was very pleased with the results!
This recipe has evolved over time, and although it's not quite as concentrated as the supermarket ones, flavor-wise it's perfect - tangy, sweet and absolutely refreshing.
And the awesome thing about it is, it's easy to adapt that sharpness to suit your own (and your kids!) tastes.
HOMEMADE LEMON CORDIAL:
STEP ONE: This recipe is based on proportion - the ingredient amounts will change every time it is made, depending on how much lemon juice you have. So start with as many lemons as you want to use for this recipe, and remove the peel with a vegetable peeler.
STEP TWO: Trim the peel of any white pith and set aside for later. A little is pith is ok, but too much will make your cordial bitter.
STEP THREE: Juice all the lemons...
... and strain out any flesh and pips. (And there's a great Quick Tip on this page about how to get more juice from your lemons!)
STEP FOUR: Weigh how much lemon juice you have - round it up or down a little - I called mine 700mls :)
STEP FIVE: The proportions for this recipe are 1 part lemon juice, 1 part water, 2 parts sugar. So, I used 700ml lemon juice, 700ml water and 1.4kg white sugar. You will also need your lemon peel from Step One, and a little Citric Acid to taste (see below).
STEP SIX: Add all ingredients except the Citric Acid, and put on moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
STEP SEVEN: Now taste the cordial (and give the kids a taste too!) to see if it's sharp enough for your liking - if not, add about 1/2t citric acid at a time, stirring well, until it tastes just right. When you're happy with the taste, turn up the heat and boil for a minute or two until the mixture thickens a little and looks syrupy. (Sorry, completely forgot to take these photos!)
STEP NINE: Pour the mixture into hot, sterilized bottles and seal while still hot. I tend to only make two or three bottles at a time, and I store these in the fridge, however I can't see any reason why they wouldn't store in the pantry just as well.
So there we go, beautifully refreshing Homemade Lemon Cordial :) I've always made this up with water, ice, and maybe a few sprigs of mint, but for true Homemade Lemonade, make it up with mineral water.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and as ever, I'd love to hear back from you if you make it!
And after this week or so of lemon recipes.... I have precisely two lemons, and one recipe left - so watch out for the final one tomorrow!
You can also find my other Unofficial Lemon Week recipes here:
Salad Days: Three Lemon Dressings
Classic Lemon Butter
No-Bake Lemon Slice
All the best,