I had a basket of lemons. Not grown in my backyard, but gratefully picked from someone elses (thanks Kirsten!) I wanted to make lemon cordial, but didn't want to use refined sugar. Other than rapadura, or raw sugar for my water kefir making, I don't cook with sugar anymore (not saying I don't eat it still). I have a small amount of honey in my tea, and I cook/ bake with honey too (can't wait to get our own beehives in November)! I Googled, and came up plenty of lemon and honey cordial recipes... with sugar in them too! I found this recipe on Well Preserved (one of my favourite blogs), and then remembered, that's right, I have ginger in the bottom of my fridge which needed using up. But I wanted to use a lot more lemons than just one. So I did. It goes great added to water kefir that has been second fermented with apple juice. I am also trialling using the Ginger, Lemon and Honey Cordial as the second ferment sweetness. Maybe all the good antibacterial/ antimicrobial properties of the ginger, lemon and honey won't be a good match for water kefir? And even though it sounds like a medicinal concoction for sore throat/ colds (which I am sure it could be), it tastes delicious!
Ginger, Lemon and Honey Cordial
Makes about 1 to 1.5L. It could be used in flat water, fizzy water, water kefir, cocktails, or even gargle it if you have a sore throat!
- 1 litre of water (I used filtered rainwater, because that is what we drink)
- 1 cup of honey (I use local, raw honey)
- 1 x 10cm piece of fresh ginger (approximately, which was about 1/2 cup of peeled slices of ginger)
- juice of 5 lemons (about 1 cup of lemon juice, and you can use the lemon rind to make a citrus cleaner or preserve them in salt)
- In a large saucepan, put the water and bring to the boil.
- Add the ginger pieces, and simmer for about 10 minutes (or longer, if like me you are doing several things at once!)
- Turn off the heat, add the honey and lemon juice. The heat of the water will gently melt the honey. Stir to combine.
- I then poured the whole concoction into a large Pyrex jug I had, so I could leave the ginger pieces to steep for a while, until the whole mix cooled down. Or leave the ginger in overnight, just put it in the fridge, if you like.
- Remove the ginger pieces, and perhaps keep them to use in something else, like a stir fry or cake!
- Decant it into clean/ sterilised sealable bottles (I used Grolsch as we have those on hand for second fermenting water kefir), and store in the fridge.