Grandma’s Lemon or Orange Cordial

I can’t remember when my mum started making this. I must have drunk barrels worth of the stuff over the years. She used to make ice lollies out of it in the summer and the best hot honey and lemon when I was poorly.

It is a lot of sugar but it makes 2 litres which dilutes down to make around 10 litres. The proportions of water & sugar may seem odd as I’ve changed it from Imperial to Metric.

  • 1,360 g sugar
  • 1.9 litres water
  • 50 g citric acid
  • 2 lemons OR 3 oranges

1. Sterilise bottles: Wash the bottles in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. Place on a baking sheet and put them in a pre-heated oven (140C/120C fan) to dry completely. Boil any rubber seals, as dry heat damages them.

2. Grate zest of fruit and add to a large pan with water, bring to boil.

3. Juice fruit and add to pan with sugar and citric acid.

4. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.

5. Decant into bottles. You can strain out the zest if you want a clearer drink.

Dilute to use; I usually add 1 part cordial to 4 parts water.

Cordial lasts unopened for a few months, once opened keep in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.