LAVENDER LEMONADE CORDIAL This refreshing recipe also makes a terrific base for a cocktail – pour the lavender cordial with gin over ice, then top up with soda water.
Combine zest* of 6 lemons, 1½ cups sugar, 5 cups water and ¼ cup chopped fresh English lavender leaves ( Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula intermedia) in a non- reactive pot. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover, allow to cool and then strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Add 560ml (2¼ cups) lemon juice and stir. Pour into sterilized jars and store in the fridge.
When ready to serve, taste for strength and dilute accordingly (usually one part cordial to two parts water or soda water). Add ice and garnish with lavender flowers (optional). Makes 1.8 litres
Note*: For quick zest, peel lemons leaving as much white on the fruit as possible. Retain lemons for juicing. Roughly chop the peel and put in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add sugar and process until lemon peel is fine.