Lemon cordial

I made some candied lemon zest to go with sorbet the other day and wondered what to do with the zesty syrup, so I did a little googling and found countless recipes for lemon syrup that used plain simple syrup and lemon juice. I thought I’d see how it went with the zesty syrup and it is simply amazing! About an inch in the bottom of a drinking class, topped up with sparkling water and you have a refreshing and all natural lemon soda.

If you are using a whole lot of lemons for something, don’t throw those peels away!



Zest of 10-12 lemons
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


Remove the zest from the lemons with a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the white pith (it’s very bitter). Cut the zest into fine strips and place in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Drain and repeat, discarding the water both times.

Return the zests to the saucepan, add the 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a low boil and cook for about 5 minutes, until the zests are translucent.

Drain the zests, reserving the syrup in a bowl.

You can now leave the zests to cool, then toss in caster sugar and spread on a parchment lined wire rack to dry for a few hours and use as desired.

Pour the lemon juice into the reserved syrup and stir, then pour into a bottle and refrigerate.

The cordial should last for several weeks at least.

And this heart-shaped lemon made me smile 🙂


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6 Responses to Lemon cordial

  1. Whenever I use lemons and I don’t use the zest it almost always gets thrown out. This is a really neat recipe to save it. Thanks! It’s kind of like home-made limoncello but it can be used for so many more things. Awesome! I also love the picture of the heart shaped lemon 🙂

  2. Jeanne Jones says:

    ALWAYS buy UNWAXED lemons if using the zest. I didn’t realise what the lemons are sprayed with until I watched a BBC documentary. I’ve always put lemons in boiling water to soften for more juice then if waxed I’ve scrubbed with a nail brush but programme says this doesn’t get the coating off. If anyone has tips about this please…………..

    • pizzarossa says:

      You are so right, Jeanne. I always buy untreated lemons because there’s no spray or wax. They’re a bit more expensive, but if you’re using the zest or peels they are well worth it.

  3. TheWineBrewer says:

    Hey I got a great video showing how to make a great lemon cordial here:

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