The sun is out, the day is warming up and the children are running around. Â Very soon there will be calls for drinks, something cool, quenching and refreshing.
So out with the lemons. Â I try and eat what is in season but lemons for me are an all year rounder. Â We don’t grow them here and as I could not imagine cooking without them I simply buy and thank the warmer climes where they flourish. Â Their lemony fragrant zip brings life to so many dishes, sometimes a few drops can literally transform the flavour of food in the way a few crystals of salt can. Â Lemons are equally at home in savoury and sweet and I rarely go a day without the squeezing of one.
With very little work and a brief simmer on the hob you will be in possession of this sharp, tangy sweet cordial. Â Sometimes I add a chunk of peeled ginger when this is heating, sometimes I don’t and occasionally add a bruised mint leaf or two on serving.
We get through masses of this in the summer and it even won me a first at last years Horticultural Show. Â That aside it is the perfect refresher on a hot day and ideal for a picnic. Â Take the cordial in a small bottle or jar and dilute just before you drink with icy cold sparkling water.
4 lemons juiced and the peel of 1
125 ml water
Put the sugar, water and lemon peel into a pan and heat. Â Let it simmer for 10 minutes and then add the lemon juice. Â Bring back to the boil then take off the heat and leave to cool. Â Strain into a suitable bottle or jam jar. Â I dilute this one part cordial to three parts cold sparkling water.
Note – lime juice is delicious combined with the lemon juice but I only heat lemon peel, when I tried heating the lime peel it gave the cordial a weird taste.