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wet your whistle on this

Recipe: citrus cordial

If you shop like me, you try to eat something before you hit the store(s) and you try to shop responsibly. That means picking up foods that are both delicious and good for you as well as economically unstupid (economically stupid = picking up two heirloom tomatoes at Whole Foods and watching your partner’s eyes pop out of their head when they ring up to $8). I generally try to buy a lot of produce because it’s good for you. Those bags or flats of fruit from Costco are a great deal, except when you can’t consume them quickly enough before they spoil.

I hate to let good food rot for no good reason, but now my citrus doesn’t have to – ever. My dear friend, Kell, shared this brilliant idea with me several months back. It sucks that she’s all the way in Australia, but I love that we keep in touch electronically with all sorts of food ideas and other snarky observations about people, life, and politics. She’s amazing, and so is this cordial. I suppose cordial is a nice fancy British Commonwealth term for what we uncultured Yanks would call syrup *grins and exposes gap tooth*

pour a little cordial into a glass or pitcher

The key is to juice your citrus. When I was in Sydney this past March, I saw Kell’s uber-industrial juicer. Fancy! It sucks in fruit and spits out juice and these little pixies run everything inside… I have a simple workhorse of a juicer that I got for $16 over ten years ago (Braun) and it still works and I love it. Hand-reaming isn’t recommended, you will waste precious juice and you’ll make a mess of yourself. With mine, I slice the citrus in half, place a half on the juicer and press down while the top spins round and all of the goodness gets squeezed out and drains into a vessel. Don’t be like me and forget to place the vessel under the spout because then it just goes all over the counter and floor. If your floor is anything like mine, there is no salvaging that juice.

top it off with seltzer water

Now, with oranges or grapefruits, you could conceivably add those straight to seltzer water and they’d be great. Lemons and limes, maybe not so much. That is where a simple syrup comes in. Make a batch and add your juice. I actually like to mix grapefruit and lime. Blood oranges would be neat too. I also love to add a splash of pomegranate juice. If I could get my hands on some fresh passion fruit, I’d be all over it.

refreshing with ice

The stuff stores forever. I don’t think I make it in the large batches that Kell does – she’s quite industrious. I tend to make enough to fit in a wine bottle – cork it and pop it in the fridge. It never lasts more than a week. Oh, and I imagine if you added booze, it would be really spectacular. I don’t booze too much since it makes me rowdy.

just like that

Kell’s Fabulous Cordial
[print recipe]

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1-2 cups juice of citrus

Combine the water and sugar in a pot and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour in citrus juice. Bottle and refrigerate. Serve with seltzer water (I quite like the Canada Dry Raspberry Seltzer – don’t get anything that’s sweetened though – it’s gross).

3 nibbles at “wet your whistle on this”

  1. kelley says:


  2. Joanne says:

    Great post! We’ve been making fresh Raspberry Lemonade and flavored simple syrup (Stinging Nettle) but I wasn’t thinking about orange juice or even using the lemon as a cordial. I’ll give it a try!


  3. jenyu says:

    Hey Kelley! You found the food blog :)

    Hi Joanne, you’ll have to tell me more about stinging nettle simple syrup – I am fascinated!

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