Zara and I recently held a small combined 30th birthday dinner with some of our friends. We were in need of some less alcoholic options for our guests to drink and after the success of my first cordial making attempt I thought I would try my hand at a couple more.

Zara’s lemon tree provided us with its first ever crop this year and our new house has a big orange tree out the front, so I thought an orange & lemon cordial would be a good option. After a bit of reading different recipes I sort of just made it up, mostly using this recipe as a base. Sadly I was in a bit of a rush when making it to record my recipe, but I’m sure I added a fair bit more juice than called for and also added a little bit of mandarin zest and juice as I thought the base recipe was a little lacking.

A few years ago I made a ginger syrup, so figured I would try that again, but this time used a recipe from Mary Blackie’s Great Australian Country Cookbook which I picked up in an op-shop recentlyish. It’s pretty straight forward, just cook up grated ginger and sugar in water. It makes a pretty zingy ginger flavour, but is still quite sweet; I think next time I’ll add some lemon juice to balance it out. It uses a fair amount of ginger, but if you keep the strained out cooked ginger you can use it for any number of other applications (we froze it and have since used it in Vietnamese ginger chicken and still have more in the freezer).

Both cordials were delicious, and while I attempted to make smaller amounts, I am not sad that there is a fair bit left over. Come summer I think I’ll try to make sure I’ve got a bottle in the fridge at all times, as they’re so easy to make and so very refreshing.