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 🙂