My cordial journey began when I discovered that one of our favourite brands of cordials had begun to put artificial sugars in their drinks. I was sad that this happened as it's a big brand and one from my childhood - I usually prefer natural ingredients in foods as much as possible. This made me think about the effects of these sugars on health and found it also affected the taste. I can always taste if a drink has artificial sugar, to me, it tastes bitter.
So anyway, this led me to look at making my own as we are big cordial drinkers in our family and buying fruit juice every week was not ideal.
Well, to my amazement, I was pleasantly surprised how easy the cordial making experience was! We would eat a lot of oranges and the skins looked too good to throw away. So I would let them sit in a bowl till I was ready to use them. (I’ve used dried orange skins for kombucha, water kefir and cakes but always have too much left over).
In fact I have now made this orange citrus cordial 5-6 times over and it has become a regular feature in our household. Not only does it taste good, it has all the wonderful nutrients of the peels and has only cost me the price of sugar & a few lemons to produce! It’s a big health boost win for the whole family, reduces food waste and helps our pockets too.
I have discovered because of my ‘hate to waste food’ tendencies I have also been using the orange skin pulp ( from the cordial) to make cakes, cookies or even tried it as a natural cat repellent for the garden. Usually orange oil is a natural cat repellent as they hate the smell.
I have found this handy to use up any lemons, limes and oranges that need to be eaten up ( so not to waste other citrus fruits - there's so much vitamin C and nutrients in the peel).
I always give the skins a good soak in just boiled hot water so that the ‘outer wax’ comes off. I find water needs to be hot enough to melt the wax ( sometimes I use hot tap water and let it sit longer) a few minutes will do - I usually look out for the bits of wax floating on the water's surface then I rinse it thoroughly before putting skins in my nutribullet, fill to max with water then blitz to a creamy orange bitty pulp!
In our house my family knows that if they would like homemade cordials they have to collect the skins! When my kid is older I’m definitely going to teach her how to make this - it's also a good way to consume consistent vitamin c, it has dietary fibre and a good host of other vitamins and minerals. We have not bought any orange juice for over a month now.
It's brilliant! I highly recommend giving it a go!
So to sum up Orange citrus cordials:
Reduce food waste
Use nutrients rich skin peel ( vitamins, fibre and minerals)
Cheap to make
A good way of avoiding any unnatural sugars from shop bought drinks
Orange Citrus Cordial
Orange cordial can also be used to flavour cakes or brew kombucha or water kefir.
Its really versatile. Citrus skins, sugar & water - simple.
Skins of minimum 2 large oranges ( can also use clementines or easy peelers the variety adds to the taste!) )
2 cups sugar
1.5 Litres water
Juice of 2 lemons ( can add a lime for a different twist)
Sterilised Flip bottle / glass bottle
Sieve or ideally a cheesecloth to strain
A blender, nutribullet or food processor to blitz peels. ( or can chop into small pieces by hand)
Soak the Citrus peels for about 10-15 minutes in hot water.
(You can see the wax float to the surface)
Rinse through peels with water, then put into a Nutribullet ( or food processor) and add approximately 500 ml water ( I fill to max line on Nutribullet). Then pulse till pulp is still bitty but a lovely light fluffy orange solution.
Put mixture & sugar into a pan and bring to boil for 10 mins.
Let the solution cool & steep for 4-5 hours.
Finally, once the solution is cool- squeeze juice of 2 lemons & strain into bottles.
Serve diluted over ice. Delicious! Enjoy!
*You can sterilise bottles by heating in an oven at 150 degrees for about 15 minutes then cool. ( we usually finish this drink in a week so I usually don't usually sterilise - a few minutes in hot water will be fine).
*Can be kept in the fridge for approximately 2 weeks - I usually fill one large bottle and put the remainder in a plastic bottle in the freezer so I have back up - this stuff is goes too fast in our house!