I had lots of lemons at home left from last Tuesday when I visited the farmers’ market and I didn’t know what to do with them. I had two alternatives about the lemon juice. I would either put it into ice cubes to freeze it, to be used whenever I needed some (but I usually have a lot of lemon ice cubes in the refrigerator) or I would make lemon squash, which we used to make and drink in Cyprus and had this in mind for a long time now to make. I wasn’t sure what to make with the peels, a spoon sweet, a liquer or maybe both?
I have never made Limoncello before but this is something I also want to make soon but I was not ready for it yet. Eventually I decided to prepare a lemon spoon sweet, as I did with the bergamot a few months ago and I started cutting the lemon peels the same way. I wasn’t lucky as the peels were very thin so they were not suitable for the spoon sweet.
I gave it a quick though and said to myself «Why not?» I would experiment and make lemon marmalade.
The lemons I had were about 2 kilos and they made 500 ml of juice. I strained it and placed it into a pot with sugar. It’s so simple that I can hardly call this a recipe by here it is:
How to make Homemade Lemon Squash
500 ml fresh lemon juice
3 cups sugar
Put both ingredients in a pot and mix it with a wooden spoon for the sugar to dissolve.
When it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 6 – 7 minutes. Remove any froth forming on top with a slotted spoon.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Store in glass bottles in the refrigerator, upto 1 year.
Now, it’s ready to be used as a nice quenching drink for the hot, summer days ahead of us.
Homemade Lemonada (Lemonade)
84 ml (3 oz) concentrated lemon juice (or more/less on how sweet you like it)
Slice of lemon
Add cold water or soda to concentrated lemon squash, ice cubes, decorate with a slice of lemon, stirand enjoy!
I also remembered a cocktail which was very popular in Cyprus called Brandy Sour.
The production of brandy on Cyprus began in the year 1871 by ETKO (the oldest surviving distiller on the island) following their importation of a pot still from Cognac in 1868. Data coming from the English explorer Samuel Baker revealed that in 1875 the volume of native brandy production in the Limassol District alone amounted to 467,711 okes. Since then it has become popular amongst locals and dozens of companies (mostly in the Limassol district) currently distil it. It differs from other European varieties of brandy (35% – 60% alcohol) in that its alcohol concentration is 32% and most varieties have a distinctly sweet aftertaste. Production is usually by double distillation of xynisteri based white wines with aging in oak barrels. Cypriot brandy forms the base for the Brandy Sour cocktail, in addition to locally-produced lemon cordial, that has been cited as the national drink of Cyprus. Source: Wikipedia
Depending on the age of the brandy they are labeled accordingly. V.S.O.P. means «Very Superior Old Pale» or 5-Star, aged at least five years in wood.
Although Branndy is typically taken as an after-dinner drink, in Cyprus the lighter brandy is drunk with food, just like any other wine.
Brandy Sour recipe
2 oz of KEO V.S.O.P. brandy
3 oz of lemon squash
Ice cubes (plus water or soda optional)
A slice of lemon
2-4 drops of bitters (Angostura or Cypriot Cock Drops brands)
Sugar for the top of the glass
Wet the glass with the slice of lemon and dip into some sugar.
Add brandy, lemon squash and mix.Add ice cubes and decorate with the lemon slice and serve.
If you like you can add some cold water as well for a milder version.
Note: (1 oz = 28 ml)
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,