I love making cordials in the Summer months, not only are they incredibly easy and refreshing, but there is a certain amount of joy in being able to produce something like this from scratch, rather than buying it from a grocery store. So you can imagine my delight at discovering this wonderful Iced tea syrup, filled with the flavours I love the most: Lemon, ginger and Earl Grey tea. I sourced the recipe from a fabulous book called ‘Delicious Days’ by Nicole Stich, and it is just the right balance of flavours, not too sweet, just enough tartness from the lemons, fragrant bergamot from the tea and the underlying spiciness of ginger. This is no doubt going to be my favourite drink of the season, served over lots of ice with soda water and perhaps a splash of vodka for good measure or added to a glass of bubbly for a refreshing sundowner.
Ginger, Lemon and Earl Grey Cordial
makes 500ml (2 cups of cordial)
3-4 lemons, preferably organic
1 piece of fresh ginger (about 3cm long)
2 Earl Grey teabags
Wash one of the lemons with hot water and finely grate the zest. Squeeze out the juice of all the lemons, which should yield about 150ml. Wash the ginger and then finely grate or chop it with the peel still on. Combine the zest, lemon juice, ginger, sugar and 350ml water in a pot and bring to the boil. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the Earl Grey teabags. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes before removing. Strain the cordial through a sieve into a jug and then decant into a sterilized glass bottle and seal. Use the syrup once cold. The cordial keeps well, in the fridge for a few days. Dilute with water or sparkling mineral water in a ratio of 1:3.