fruit cordials can be expensive. the Nojito is based on a mint syrup which is considerably cheaper to make than to buy, particularly if you have fresh mint in your garden. a 1kg bag of caster sugar costs £1.40. it would take 250g, or 35p worth of sugar to make 500ml of cordial: a 500ml bottle of elderflower cordial would cost £3.00. having said that the cordial is considerably cheaper than a single bottle of wine and would last also considerably longer, so it is still a bargain, sober quaffers!
to make any herb syrup, follow this method:
- take a handful of washed herbs and place in a small saucepan.
- add a mug of sugar and a mug of water.
- bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes.
- leave to cool completely so the flavours can come out.
- strain using tea-strainer into suitable container (jam jar, or something fancier if you have it) and refrigerate.
to make the nojito:
- place maybe half an inch of the syrup in a long glass
- add a handful of washed mint leaves to the syrup. bash about (technically known as muddling) with the end of a wooden spoon.
- juice half a lime and add juice to glass.
- cut squeezed lime half into two quarters and add those to glass, so as not to waste. you could use the other half of the lime for this if you prefer.
- add ice if you have it, then top up with soda, or ginger ale, or diet lemonade. check for strength – you may need more cordial, or more lime juice. add sprig of mint for decoration.
I was going to use up some of the leftover ginger ale from a previous recipe. unfortunately the whole pan of cordial was dumped into the sink by an over-enthusiastic (or, more realistically, wool-gathering) teenaged washer-up. boo hiss!