This delicious lemonade cordial recipe makes a refreshing drink when diluted with still or sparkling water. Made of three ingredients, this old fashion lemonade quenches your thirst on a hot summer’s day.
What is Lemon Cordial?
Lemon cordial is a sweetened lemon concentrate that is typically made with fresh lemons, leftover peels, and a sweetener. It is often used in mixed drinks, in baking or simply to add lemony flavour to your tea.
Why make homemade Lemon Cordial?
Although it may be simpler to purchase this lemon cordial from a store, you can avoid any unwanted preservatives or artificial flavours by making it yourself.
- It makes for a lovely DIY gift if placed in a nice bottle and labeled accordingly.
- People who grow their lemon trees and want to preserve lemons later.
- I like to make this or lemon extract when I squeeze lemon juice and have leftover peels.
- This old fashioned lemon cordial recipe is easy to make and very affordable
- Moreover, it lasts for several months when kept refrigerated
- I use it whenever I need a lemon flavor – in tea, in baking
Other syrups you may want to try:
Ingredients for Lemon Cordial
Knowing all the advantages of making old fashioned homemade lemon cordial recipe, are you ready to dive in?
we will be using juice and the zest from lemons for this recipe.
How much juice is in the lemon?
Depending on the size, a medium lemon yields 3 tablespoons of juice. To extract one cup of lemon juice from the lemons, you will need 6-8 pieces.
One should consider a few factors when selecting lemons for this lemonade cordial recipe to extract the most juices.
- Buying juicy lemons – Meyer lemons are the juiciest lemon varieties, although they can be quite pricey
- check the skin – more juicy lemons have smooth, finely textured skin.
- in addition, the juiciest fruits are the heaviest, so if you hold two lemons of the same size, the heaviest will give you the most juice!
- opt for organic lemons as they are not coated with a wax that keeps them looking fresh. Although the wax is safe to eat, you better de wax nonorganic lemons before zesting. Just pour hot water over lemons in a colander and scrub them with a brush to remove the e wax coating. Dry them before zesting.
This recipe uses lemon zest so before you squeeze all lemons, zest them first. lemon zest is highly flavorful and adds freshness to your homemade lemon cordial.
The zest of a lemon contains more flavoring oils than the juice, making it much more potent in taste.
The zest is not nearly as acidic or tart as the juice.
When zesting lemons, make sure to remove the brightly colored flesh of the peel. Avoid the white part underneath the peel as this is quite bitter.
You can use any kitchen tool you have at your disposal, from a zester and cheese grater to a potato peeler. To faster the process, rub the grater on the lemon skin instead of to the lemon on the grater. Just watch your fingers!
syrups or cordials can’t exist without a sweetener. Most of the cordial recipes on the internet contain white granulated sugar that keeps the cordial’s bright yellow color and balances the lemon’s tartness. However, don’t be discouraged from using healthier alternatives. I like to use honey, but you can use brown sugar, stevia, or custard sugar as per your taste.
I made this recipe with raw honey and was delighted with the result as the bright yellow color of cordial has been preserved. In addition to its sweetness, honey contains enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit our health.
This ingredient is optional; however, it helps to preserve the cordial. I made the lemon cordial concentrate without the citric acid, which lasts a couple of months if kept refrigerated. Citric acid can be replaced with tartaric acid.
Homemade lemon cordial recipe
Grate lemon zest from 6 organic lemons
Use a juicer or juice the lemons manually
We will steep lemon zest instead of boiling it to keep most of the vitamin C. Place the lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl and pour 2 cups of cool water which has been boiled before. Close the lid and keep it overnight to make the syrup darker and tastier.
Strain the zest through a piece of muslin and pour it into a casserole.
Once it starts boiling, remove it from the heat and let it cool a bit.
Add the sweetener of your choice and citric acid (optional). You can mildly warm it up to dissolve the sweetener. Be very careful when you use raw honey as it is very sensitive for rapid healing. Heating up to 37°C (98.6 F) causes the loss of nearly 200 components, part of which are antibacterial (4)
once all have been diluted pour the mixture into 1 l sterilized bottles.
To sterilize bottles for safe storage, wash the bottles and lids with hot, soapy water and rinse. Place the bottles in your oven at 120 C/248 F and dry in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove the hot bottles from the oven and allow to cool before adding the cordial. You can also use a sterilizing solution or tablet, like Milton’s.
Store your lemon syrup in a sterilized bottle either in the pantry or the fridge. Unopened will last up to 6 months. Once opened, store it in the refrigerator and drink it within ten days in a bottle with a lid.
Yes, this lemon cordial can be frozen! Once cooled, store lemon cordial concentrate in a ziplock bag or freezer bag and refrigerate for a year maximum. Once you remove it from the freezer, keep t refrigerated and finish it within a couple of weeks.
Lemon cordial (squash) is a concentrated version of lemonade. To get the flavor of American lemonade, one must dilute it with still water considerably. In the contrary, any drink in the UK that ends with -ade ending is fizzy. Thus lemonade in Uk would call for lemon cordial combined with sparkling water.
Can you add other flavors to Lemon Cordial?
you can add some herbs at the first infusing phase. I suggest the following flavors
Rosemary and mint
lavender and basil
You can also make a pink lemonade to your home made lemon cordial by adding cranberry or red grapefruit juice
Can you use other citrus fruits for Lemon Cordial?
If you wish to add more citrusy flavor, you can combine it with lime cordial or lime juice.
Orange cordial or orange juice adds more sweetness to your lemon syrup
Can you make Lemon Cordial without Citric Acid?
Citric acid is often added to homemade cordials as a preservative. However, if you are looking for a preservative-free recipe, it is possible to make lemon cordial without citric acid. Without citric acid, the lemon cordial lasts in the fridge for around four months.
Serving suggestions for Homemade Lemon Cordial
This recipe is for concentrated cordial that needs to be diluted with water. To serve, add 1 part cordial to 4 or 5 parts water or sparkling mineral water.
Make it fancy by adding fruits such as fresh lemon slices, strawberries, blueberries or mango.
Add loads of ice, plus a few sprigs of fresh mint.
I used it to make these lavender lemonade cocktails.
Use it to make a homemade Gatorade that helps you replace lost electrolytes during the sweat of exercise.
When it comes to alcoholic drinks, I love to use this cordial to make lemon drop shots, my new party treat.
Lemon cordial concentrate cocktails
- Vodka Collins
- Tennesee Honey Cordial
- Lemon drop
- Whiskey sour
- Gin Fizz
- French 75 cocktail
- Tom Collins cocktail
- Amaretto sour