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Homemade Lime Cordial

September 18, 2013

Summer season is slowly coming to an end here in Santa FE, which means I might actually have time to get some work done. But I am not ready to give up on some sensational summer sippers.  One of my favorites being the Gimlet.

Back in the 1867, Luchian Rose came up with a way to preserve lime juice without the use of alcohol.  That same year the Merchant Shipping Act passed Parliament requiring all ships to carry a daily ration of lime for its sailors.  Rose’s Lime  Cordial was used because it was lighter easier and wouldn’t spoil.  This is by the way why British sailors.

The Gimlet (meaning sharp or piercing) first popped up in the 1920’s, and as always the debate began of what a true gimlet was.  But that’s another story for another day.  We are here about the lime cordial

Though Rose’s is still pretty natural  sans the high fructose corn syrup), I decided I wanted to come up with my own Sweetened preserved lime juice.

Chris’ Lime Cordial

  • 8 limes
  • 6 oz sugar
  • 12 oz water
  • 1 teaspoon Citric Acid
  • 1 teaspoon Tartaric Acid

Peel all eight limes, then juice the enough limes for 1/2 cup of juice.  Next combine sugar and the acids.  Pour water into a medium saucepan and add sugar mixture.  Over medium high heat completely melt the sugar then bring to a soft boil.  Add lime peels and lime juice.  return to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes.  The time doesn’t have to be exact ( I usually go smoke a cigarette during the simmer).  Remove from heat and let stand for 12 hours.  Bottle label and refrigerate.

Couple tidbits here…

Lime Cordial and fresh lime juice are in NO WAY interchangeable so you have to use Lime Cordial in your Gimlet.  Using fresh juice and sugar are just not the same.

The original Cosmopolitan recipe used Lime Cordial and was simply a Kamikaze using citrus vodka and a tiny splash off cranberry.

Though some debate that the Gimlet includes soda, I have to disagree by etymology of the name alone as adding soda diminishes the “sharp” or ‘piercing” qualities of the drink.

What is the right proportion? There is no way to tell, early recipes were equal parts gin and lime where others were 4:1.  The  International Bartender’s Association has no official recipe for this one ( yet some they have sanctioned…..yikes)

So, like always play with it til you find what works best for you palate.  Happy Sipping

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