Home > Recipes > Drinks > Homemade Lemon Cordial

Homemade Lemon Cordial

This homemade lemon cordial is an old-fashioned syrup and forms the base of many refreshing summer drinks. Made without citric acid or tartaric acid, this easy lemon concentrate requires only 3 ingredients – lemons, sugar, and water. Perfect for lemonade, cocktails, and mocktails, or as a topping for your favorite dessert.

Two vintage wine glasses with lemonade on a black shingle tile.
Table of contents
  • Easy recipe
  • Only 3 ingredients needed
  • No citric or tartaric acid required

For more delicious drinks and syrups, check out the following recipes:

Easy way to preserve lemons

Every winter there comes a time when our neighbors, colleagues, and friends are almost begging to take a load of lemons off them when their lemon trees are loaded with the delicious zesty fruit. Homemade lemon cordial is a great way to preserve the abundance of lemons, turning them into a delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink or a zesty topping for cakes and desserts.


  • Lemons – You need about 4-5 fresh lemons depending on size for 1 cup of lemon juice and the zest of a lemon. If you’re using store-bought lemons make sure you wash them thoroughly before zesting them.
  • Sugar – This recipe works best with white sugar, or mild-flavored honey if you want to avoid a lot of sugar. Raw or brown sugar changes the flavor I don’t recommend using it.
  • Water – I recommend using filtered cold water for the citrus cordial.
  • Other flavors – You can add essential oils or fresh mint, ginger, rosemary, or verbena to your cordial alongside the lemon juice for a more complex flavor.

This recipe makes about 500ml of lemon cordial concentrate. Mixed in a ratio of 1:4 (1 part cordial, 4 parts water (still or carbonated) which makes 2 liters of classic lemonade).


Bring the water to a simmer in a saucepan and add the raw sugar. Stir thoroughly until the sugar has fully dissolved in the lemon infused water. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the lemon juice to the sugar syrup through a sieve and the zest. Let the cordial cool down before storing it in sterilized glass bottles in the fridge.


The easiest way to make a refreshing lemon drink is by mixing 1 part lemon cordial with 4 parts still or carbonated water (soda water or sparkling water) in a glass. You can add ice cubes and some mint leaves to make it extra refreshing.

Alternatively, you can fill a large pitcher with loads of ice and make a larger batch.

Apart from homemade lemonade, this cordial can also be used in the following lemon drinks and desserts:

  • Hot lemon drink aka hot toddy
  • Lemon-based cocktails such as lemon drop, whiskey sour, limoncello mojito, gin fizz, French 75, vodka lemonade, and cosmopolitan
  • Lemon-based mocktails featuring ginger, lime juice, orange juice, mint, or rosemary – perfect on a hot summer’s day!
  • Lemon iced tea
  • Pink lemonade
  • Lemon ice popsicles
  • Use as a lemon syrup for drizzle cakes
  • Topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream


How long does homemade cordial last in the fridge?

You can store lemon cordial in sterilized glass bottles in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Can you freeze lemon cordial?

Yes, you can. Just make sure the cordial has fully cooled down and you leave a generous gap between the cordial and lid of your freezer-proof container for the liquid to be able to expand. Lemon cordial lasts for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Can I use other citrus fruit instead of lemons to make cordial?

Yes, you can make lime cordial or orange cordial as well by following this recipe. Just make sure the juice-to-water and sugar ratio remains the same.

A glass jar of lemon cordial next to two vintage wine glasses with lemonade on a black shingle tile.

Homemade Lemon Cordial

Caro Jensen
This homemade lemon cordial is an old-fashioned syrup and forms the base of many refreshing drinks.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, British
Servings 10 servings
Calories 82 kcal


  • 1 cup lemon juice 4-5 lemons depending on size
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup filtered water


  • Sterilize a large glass bottle including the lid with boiling water.
  • Juice lemons and measure out 1 cup of juice. Zest the lemon.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the filtered water to a simmer. Add the sugar and stir thoroughly until it has fully dissolved.
    1 cup filtered water, 1 cup sugar
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Combine everything thoroughly and let it steep until fully cooled down.
    1 cup lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Once cool, add it through a sieve into the sterilized bottle using a funnel. Close the bottle and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Remove the syrup from the heat before adding the lemon juice to retain the nutrients.
Make sure to sterilize the jar and the lid before filling it with the lemon cordial.
Safe leftover peels from the remaining lemons to make candied fruit peel or lemon sugar or salt.


Calories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.001gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 0.03mg
Loved this recipe?Please leave a 🌟 star rating on this recipe. Thanks!

Similar Posts