I had my first taste of stevia cordial while visiting my sister-in-law and her family who had stopped buying regular cordial and just made this one instead. And now I am hooked, have run off with their recipe (see below) and do the same with my family. This cordial tastes distinctly refreshing, SO much more so than sugar based cordials (whether store bought or homemade). After having given regular cordial the boot, I can barely stand to drink the stuff as it tastes so sickly sweet! Stevia cordial also goes down beautifully with ice on a hot day.
But what on earth is stevia – you ask? Stevia is a plant with very sweet leaves. The leaves can be ground or used to make an extract that can be used as a natural sweetener and sugar substitute. Pure stevia extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar. But unlike sugar, it has no calories, will not damage your teeth or cause any of the negative effects on your health that sugar can. Being a natural product, it also does not cause any of the health issues that are associated with artificial sweeteners. So you can drink this cordial and give it to your kids without an ounce of guilt! It has a particular flavour, different to the taste of sugar, and can taste a bit bitter or sharp if you use too much of it. But I think it goes nicely with fruity flavours and generally works well if you balance it right with other flavours and ingredients.
You can make this coridal using flavouring essences, but my favourite is using freshly squeezed lemon juice. This recipe uses pure stevia extract, which is available at health food shops. This is different to the stevia you will find in supermarkets which has added fillers. Stevia extract looks expensive, but it is very concentrated so will last you ages. Stevia doesn’t preserve things like sugar does, so once made, the cordial concentrate needs to be kept in the fridge and might last a week or so? I now freeze the concentrate in smaller batches and pull the new one out of the freezer as we finish the one in the fridge.
So on to the recipe!
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cups water
- 1 - 1½ tsp pure stevia extract
- Combine all ingredients in a bottle or jar. You may want to stir or tip the (closed) bottle a few times to help the stevia powder dissolve.
- Leave the bottle to stand in the fridge for 5-10mins, or until you can no longer see any stevia powder (ie. it has all dissolved).
- This recipe makes a cordial concentrate. To serve, dilute to taste with water as you would any other cordial.
- I've also successfully substituted the lemon juice with sour yellow grapefruit juice. Other juices may also work, I just find it needs to be a sour juice or the cordial tastes quite bland or too sweet.
About the Author: In yesteryear, I studied and taught music and was involved in youth ministry. Now I am a wife and a home educating mum, with kids aged 5, 2 and a baby. I also like to read, knit and sink my vocal chords into chant and polyphony. Through it all, I am striving to battle the busyness to come closer to the Lord. For anything of value I write here, to God be the glory.