Pelargonium and lemon cordial recipe

This is my favourite drink served here for lunch in the café for our garden openings and courses. It’s the pelargonium that gives it delicious and unique taste. I love Pelargonium ‘Attar of Roses’ on many counts, so we now grow it by the hedge-load for a guilt-free harvest.

 For 2 x 750ml bottles:

  • 2 good fistfuls of Pelargonium ‘Attar of Roses’ leaves, (as many as possible)

  • 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 900ml boiling water

  • 850g white sugar (granulated or caster)

  • 30g citric or tartaric acid (if you want to store it, rather than drink it fresh, from the fridge)

With a swivel potato peeler, cut thick ribbons of rind from the fruit, leaving the white pith behind. Put the rind and pelargonium leaves into a heatproof bowl. Add the sugar, pour over the boiling water and stir, keeping the water moving until the sugar has all dissolved. Leave the mixture to cool and then add the juice from the lemons (and the citric acid if using), and leave everything to steep overnight.

Next day, strain the rind and leaves away and bottle the cordial. Don't leave the rind any longer or the cordial will become bitter.

Serve – just a little in the bottom of a glass – diluted with still or sparkling water.

This will store for about a month in the fridge, or you can pour it into clean plastic milk cartons and freeze.