Citrus Cordial

Adapted from Batched & Bottled: Cocktails to Make Ahead by Max and Noel Venning

bitters cocktail illo

“Cordials can aid in sustainability efforts,” Max Venning notes. “For us, it has become an important part of our day-to-day operations,” he says of his London bar, Three Sheets. “We go through a lot of lemon juice in the bar and are often left with piles of husks.” Unlike the cordial used to make the Lemon & Cardamom Gimlet, which also requires juice, a more general “citrus cordial” uses only the leftover peels, and can be adapted to work with any type of citrus for a cocktail or non-alcoholic drink.

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces leftover citrus husks (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.)
  • 8 ounces leftover citrus husks (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.)
  • 8 ounces caster sugar
  • 8 ounces caster sugar
  • 8 ounces water
  • 8 ounces water
  • citric acid powder, optional (see Editor's Note)
  • citric acid powder, optional (see Editor's Note)

Directions
  1. Put the spent citrus husks in a bowl and pour the sugar over the husks.
  2. Muddle the sugar into the citrus to release the oils. Cover and leave it in a cool place, overnight if possible or at least for a few hours.
  3. Add the water and stir until the sugar is dissolved, then let it rest for an hour or so.
  4. Strain off the liquid through a coffee filter placed over a funnel into a jug.
  5. Taste the cordial for acidity. Add citric acid to taste.
  6. Stir to dissolve.
  7. Transfer to a 750-ml bottle and seal.
  8. To serve, mix 2 ounces spirit of choice (Venning recommends vodka or gin) and 1 ounce citrus cordial over ice in a highball glass. Top with soda water.
  9. Non-alcoholic alternative: Pour 1 1/2 ounces citrus cordial over ice in a highball glass and top with soda water.
Editor's Note

If adding citric acid powder, Venning recommends adding 1 percent of the total weight of the cordial.