I remember my mum attending some workshops on food preservation when I was about 10 or so. From those classes, there was always homemade tomato ketchup, pineapple jam and some kind of cordials. We used to call them squash and hardly anyone uses that term anymore. The other day I wanted to buy a cordial and all the options had a very small percentage of actual fruit and the rest were fillers plus preservative! So I decided to make my own based on the memory of what my mum used to make. This can be had cold with soda or hot with water. I used Meyer lemons as the juice isn’t too tart. You can also scale the recipe up.
1 cup sugar
2 cups hot water from a freshly boiled kettle
100g ginger, peeled and grated fine
Rind of one lemon
1 cup lemon juice (about 6-8 lemons)
1 teaspoon corn starch, mixed with a couple of teaspoons of cold water
Measure out the sugar in a small saucepan. Pour the hot water in and turn the heat on. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent sugar from clumping.
Toss the ginger in. Mix and turn the heat off after two minutes. Throw the rind into the saucepan and let steep for five minutes.
Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Pour in the lemon juice. Stir to combine and add the corn starch water. Put it back on the heat until liquid becomes slightly cloudy.
When cool, bottle the cordial. Refrigerate and use within four weeks. Makes 3 cups cordial.