…this is the cordial, that I like best

I had a little Sunday BBQ on the harbour to attend. Instead of bringing food, I thought I should do something a little different, and make some fruit punch style drinks.

I had some lovely Tasmanian elderberry concentrate from Ashbolts … So let’s try the strawberry and elderberry punch recipe inspired by the New York Times.

1 cup (17 small) strawberries, washed and sliced.
1 cup sugar
1 cup cold water

350ml (18 fluid ounces) elderberry cordial made from concentrate

180 ml (9 fluid ounces) lime juice strained

I used the juice of half an orange and one lime. Limes are out of season here at the moment – the ones I found were $15.99/kg.

Once I had make the strawberry sugar syrup:

Strawberry sugar syrup

I mixed this with the elderberry cordial, I diluted this again in a 1:4 proportion before serving.

I started with juice concentrate rather than tea, so my result was a lot sweeter than intended. I found that apart from just tasting sweet, there wasn’t much complexity to this drink. I think perhaps that if I were to make it again without the lime juice, to simmer the sugar syrup with some ginger to add some bite. However this drink was much complimented, especially when served with sparkling water.

Old fashioned lemonade

I also remembered reading a recipe in the Sunday paper about making lemonade the old fashioned way- the closest approximation is to rub the lemon skin with a sugar cube. I wasn’t able to find the original recipe online, but the cooking of joy had a close relative.

1/2 cup sugar (24 sugar cubes)
2 organic lemons, washed
A Splash of vanilla essence
About 3 hours

The amounts given above yielded me about enough syrup to make 1.5 litres of lemonade when diluted in 1:4 proportions.

What surprised me with this recipe was the amount of time it took to rub the lemons with the sugar cubes. Admittedly I was watching the movie water for elephants at the time, but oh my fingers!

Here you can see a sugar cube, stained yellow from the lemon and the patchy looking lemon, almost as if I’ve grated it with a very fine grater:

Lemon sugar rubbings

I also tried rubbing some fresh harvested mint leaves with the sugar cube, but I found that this was more trouble than it was worth. Unlike a lemon which gives you something to grip, the mint leaf disintegrates as you rub it.

The lemonade was a hit – all the syrup I made disappeared.

I think this might be a good thing to do with leftover lemon skins after you’ve squeezed the juice out them. Can you also imagine orange-ade, lime-ade made in this fashion? Mmmm…


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