I can't be fussed with all that I hear you cry. Well, listen up. Grate the zest from seven lemons, or two large oranges, or seven limes, or two grapefruit - or some of each - squeeze the juice, add to a pan with 1 litre of cold water, and 1.5kgs white sugar. Leave over-night, strain and bottle. If you are making for a party, or just to use over the weekend you don't even need to bottle it - just keep covered in the fridge in a jug. The taste is incomparable to even the top of the range cordials, it's fresh, with a huge citrus burst. You can use it, obviously, just diluted, you can make ice-lollies, pour neat over ice-cream or make grown-up 'lemonade' by diluting with Prosecco or some other fizz of choice. Try it - you won't be disappointed. To extend the shelf life to one year follow the method for processing in a water bath or use a purpose built canner. For Lemon Cordial here's the detail
Grate the zest from 7 lemons
Next day, stir to mix well together
Squeeze the juice
Strain through stainless steel or nylon sieve into a jug. This will allow some bits to remain in the cordial
Add to 1 litre water, 1.5kgs white sugar, 60g citric acid, stir to combine. Soak overnight
Discard the pulp - if you don't want any bits at all, strain through muslin, kitchen paper or a coffee filter paper
Fill bottles leaving a small gap at the top, then seal with a twist on cap. Refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.
During this time, the cordial will expand, rise in the bottles and force out the air at the top of the bottle.
To extend shelf life to 12 months, fill bottles as before. Place J cloth, folded tea towel or folded newspaper in bottom of preserving pan ( to stop bottles rattling )
After the 20 mins. remove the bottles carefully with a tea towel and tighten the the caps immediately.
Put on the caps but don't tighten. Place bottles in pan and pour in water to just below the top of the bottles. Turn on heat and bring to a gentle simmer for 20 mins.
A vacuum will form as the cordial cools and shrinks again, which will prevent the growth of moulds and yeasts. Refrigerate once opened.