Admittedly there wasn't an orange or lemon tree in the garden but this cordial reminds me of afternoons under the big apple tree, gulping it down as the three of us had been hooning around the garden and where in need of 'Pam Juice' refreshment, as it became known in later years.
Ingredients for Cordial:
200ml Fresh orange juice
200ml Fresh Lemon juice
Juice & zest of 3 Limes
400g Caster Sugar
1 heaped tsp citric acid (optional)
To serve try the following:
Having said all that, this cordial will last perfectly well in the fridge or on the counter for up to a month. I also try to do smaller batches as oranges and lemons are available throughout the year, it also helps to avoid the hunt for citric acid and a stock pile in the garage. In essence this is a lovely and extraordinarily easy recipe and if you're worried about sugar intake for you children, at least you know what is in your cordial this way.
To start, roll all your fruit on the cooking counter, you want to loosen all the juice inside so that it's easy to squeeze. Then with your microplane, carefully zest each fruit into a jug and set aside. Cut all the fruit in half and either use a hand juicer or the juicer on your magimix, making sure that you get every ounce of juice. Poor all the juice into the same jug that has the zest.
Now take out your heavy based saucepan and dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat. This is a fairly quick process and try not to boil the sugar syrup. Once simmering and all dissolved, add the lemon, lime and orange zest and juice and bring to the boil, simmering the mixture until it becomes a syrup. Once the mixture becomes a thicker consistency, turn up heat and bringing the mixture almost to boiling point but not quite.
Don't worry if you have some of the pips or pith in the mixture, because you are now going to sieve it. Depending on how smooth you want the cordial, you can sieve or place a muslin into the sieve and then pour the hot cordial syrup through. I remember as a child the only thing about Pam Juice that annoyed me was that my Granny insisted that the 'bits in' was a better drink than the 'bits out'. One of the few things that I completely disagree with her on.
It's important to sieve over a large jug, as this is going to make life so much easier when pouring the hot syrup into sealable serialized Kilner (or any other make) bottles.
Set aside (without the pop-lid on) and let it cool before sealing and popping in the fridge. When you come to serve drinks, dilute the squash with fizzy or still water, adding lots of ice and finish with a wedge of orange or fresh mint leaves.
The beauty about this recipe is that you can scale up or down, you need the same amount of real fruit juice as water (in millilitres) and the same amount of sugar (in grammes) - it just depends on the amount of fruit you can source.