This is a proper old fashioned homemade lemon cordial recipe. Learn how to make lemon cordial concentrate at home, and you’ll never look twice at the overly sweet, preservative-laden store bought version again!

Most of us, at least in the warmer regions of New Zealand, and anywhere around the world with warm summers and crisp winters, have access to a lemon tree, either our own or a neighbour’s.

If you have to, you can of course buy lemons from your local fruit and vege shop, or your local weekend market! In fact, this sort of fresh produce is very available nowadays, and highly recommended. 

I don’t want to harp on too much about ‘real’ fruit. But try and steer away from those perfectly formed, perfectly manicured lemons. The larger, lumpier ones might not look as fancy, but they’ll have much more depth of flavour!

This lemon cordial mixture makes a concentrate that keeps in covered containers in the fridge for a couple of months at least. So when you work it out it is a very economical and tasty alternative to bought fruit drinks.

You only need a little of the syrup in the bottom of a glass of water to make a delicious refreshing drink. You can also choose the sweetness of the final drink, by adding more or less water. This is great when you have children of different ages. 

Plus it has tons of vitamin c in it, which is really important in the cooler winter months, when lemons are available and very cheap. 

Nothing beats a cool glass of homemade lemonade cordial in the summer sun. I can’t think of a more perfect drink after mowing the lawns, or getting back from a long bike ride. An impromptu picnic on the lawn, complete with lemonade, topped off with filtered water and crushed mint… heaven!

Homemade lemon cordial-summertime

And if it’s winter where you are right now, you can top off your homemade lemon cordial with boiling water. Add in some fresh grated ginger, maybe a couple kawakawa leaves, or chamomile flowers, then kick back by the fireplace for a winter-warming energy drink. Bliss!

Terrific Homemade Lemon Cordial Recipe-winter

And once the kids go to bed you can always try out one of these 31 lemon cordial cocktails to sip as the sun goes down! Now we’re talking…

Terrific Homemade Lemon Cordial Recipe-cocktail

Terrific Homemade Lemon Cordial Recipe

Terrific Homemade Lemon Cordial Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10


  • Juice and grated rind of 3 lemons
  • 30 g citric or tartaric acid powder (from the baking section at your supermarket)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Clean sterilised bottles with lids


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large heat-proof bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Allow the mix to cool, then transfer to clean bottles with lids (thoroughly cleaned glass bottles of the kind that sauces come in are good).
  3. Store in the fridge and use a little in a glass, topped up with water, as required.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to just double the whole recipe if this much cordial doesn't last at your place. 

You can also freeze your lemon cordial for up to year, if you want to make it in bulk. If freezing in bottles, only 3/4 fill the bottles, and freeze with the lid off for a couple of days before you seal them. Or, just freeze in ziplock plastic bags.

If you love this homemade lemon cordial recipe, then you should definitely check out our Ravishing Homemade Raspberry Cordial Recipe too.

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Robert Glensor is the founder of the Paraoa Bakehouse- the home of Purebread organic breads and Gluten Free Goodies. With a love of good bread and a passion for all things organic and sustainable, Robert writes about all manner of issues to do with living green.

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Debbie Hill

I made this for the first time today and used sicilian lemons. Wow, it’s so beautiful and refreshing it reminds me of the lemon sherbet I used to buy as a child.
Thanks for sharing your recipe I will never buy shop bought cordial again.

Jarrod Rendle

I know right, it’s like once you’ve had fresh, you can never go back! So glad you liked it — Jarrod

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