Lemon verbena and vanilla cordial

Lemon verbena and vanilla cordial
  • Serves icon Makes about 650ml cordial (14-15 servings)
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, plus cooling

This homemade cordial for grown-ups uses herbs, lemon verbena, lemon juice and edible flowers to create a sophisticated cooler for spring and summer days.

Or, when elderflowers are in season, go foraging and then make this recipe for elderflower cordial.

Nutrition: Per Serving (for 15)

Calories
73kcals
Fat
none
Protein
0.1g
Carbohydrates
18.2g (18.2g sugars)
Fibre
trace
Salt
trace
Calories
73kcals
Fat
none
Protein
0.1g
Carbohydrates
18.2g (18.2g sugars)
Fibre
trace
Salt
trace

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 8g dried lemon verbena leaves, plus extra fresh leaves to serve (see tips)
  • 350ml lemon juice (juice from 8-10 lemons)
  • Lemon slices, edible flowers, ice cubes (see tips) and chilled sparkling water or sparkling wine to serve

You’ll also need

Method

  1. Slit the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Put the pod and seeds in a pan with the sugar and 250ml water, then gently heat to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Bring to the boil and bubble for 2 minutes, then take off the heat and add the dried verbena leaves. Stir, then steep for 10 minutes. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a clean pan (discard the solids), add the lemon juice and put over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Pour the syrup into the bottle, cool for about 30 minutes, then seal. (see Make Ahead).
  3. To serve, put lemon slices, ice cubes (see Expert Touch), edible flowers and verbena leaves in each glass, add 3 tbsp cordial, then top up with sparkling water or sparkling wine.

delicious. tips

  1. Expert touch: Make decorative ice cubes by freezing edible flowers or tarragon leaves in ice cubes, if you like.

    Easy swap: If you can’t find fresh lemon verbena to garnish, use mint.

  2. Unopened bottles will keep for up to 1 month. Once opened, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

  3. Watch our video about how to sterilise bottles and jars.

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