This homemade lemon cordial is an old-fashioned syrup and forms the base of many refreshing summer drinks. Made without citric acid, this easy lemon concentrate requires only 3 ingredients – lemons, sugar, and water. Perfect for lemonade, cocktails, and mocktails, or with your favorite dessert.
Every year there comes a time when neighbors, colleagues, and friends are almost begging you to take a load of lemons off them. Homemade lemon cordial is a great way to preserve the abundance of lemons, turning them into delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and zesty toppings for cakes and desserts.
- Lemons – You need about 4-5 ripe lemons depending on size for 1 cup of lemon juice. If you’re using store-bought lemons make sure you wash them thoroughly before zesting them.
- Sugar – This recipe works best with white sugar, raw sugar, or mild-flavored honey. Brown sugar changes the flavor and color and I don’t recommend using it.
- Water – I recommend using filtered water for the cordial.
- Optional flavors – You can add 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 with still or sparkling water it makes 2 litres of lemonade.
Bring the water to a simmer in a saucepan and add the raw sugar. Stir thoroughly until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the lemon juice through a sieve and the zest. Let the cordial cool down before storing it in the fridge.
Check out my Honey Lavender Syrup, alcohol-free mulled wine, and hot cacao drink for more delicious drink recipes.
To make a refreshing lemon drink, simply use 1 part lemon cordial and 4 parts still or sparkling water in a glass. You can add ice cubes and some mint leaves to make it extra refreshing.
Lemon cordial can also be used in the following 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, orange, mint, or rosemary
- Lemon iced tea
- Lemon ice popsicles
- Use as a lemon syrup for drizzle cakes
- Topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream
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Homemade Lemon Cordial
- 1 cup lemon juice 4-5 depending on size
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 1 cup filtered water
- Sterilise a large glass bottle including the lid with boiling water.
- Juice lemons and measure out 1 cup of juice.1 cup lemon juice
- In a medium saucepan, bring the filtered water to a simmer. Add the raw sugar and stir thoroughly until it has fully dissolved.1 cup filtered water, 1 cup raw sugar
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the lemon juice through a sieve and the zest. Combine everything thoroughly.1 cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Let the cordial cool down and add it to the sterilised bottle using a funnel. Close the bottle and store it in the fridge.