The sun is out, the day is warming up and the children are running around. Very soon there will be calls for drinks, something cool, quenching and refreshing.
So out with the lemons. I try and eat what is in season but lemons for me are an all year rounder. 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. 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. 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. 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. That aside it is the perfect refresher on a hot day and ideal for a picnic. 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. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and then add the lemon juice. Bring back to the boil then take off the heat and leave to cool. Strain into a suitable bottle or jam jar. 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.