Forget the fizz

garden The sight of families rolling up to the supermarket checkout with trolleys groaning full of fizzy soft drinks always gives me the budgetary shudders. How do they afford it? Are they screamingly rich or are they just terribly impractical with their money? At the rate my growing action pack guzzles drinks, I can't afford to fill the fridge with bottled lollywaters. For us the odd Woodies, Coke or Pepsi has to be a holiday treat.
I use several fresh fruit cordial recipes to keep young thirsts cheaply and nutritionally quenched. But I'm admitting that, despite a lifelong devotion to Bickfords lime juice, I'm not much of a one for sugary drinks.
Come the fluid depletions of steamy summer, I find nothing more refreshing, sustaining, delicious and, most importantly, economical than iced tea. In hot weather I keep at least two jugs of iced tea and one jug of chilled mint and lemon water in the fridge. Apart from restoring the fluid balance, these old-fashioned home-made drinks are a darned sight healthier than anything one can buy.




Lemon Squash

drink Everyone wants this recipe after they have tasted it. Since it contains fresh juice, it does not last forever like a plain sugar cordial. But I've never found its exact shelf life because, no matter how much I make, it vanishes like money in the supermarket.
Peel the yellow zest from
at least half the lemons,
making sure not to include
the white pith of the skins.
Squeeze juice from the fruit
and reserve.
Place the rind, sugar and water
in a stainless steel pan and
warm well until the sugar is dissolved
and the syrup is a lovely yellow.
Strain out the peeled skins,
add the fresh lemon juice and
citric acid to the syrup
and store in clean, sterile bottles.

LEMONS TO YIELD ABOUT
2 1/2 CUPS JUICE
1 KG WHITE SUGAR
8 CUPS WATER
2 TSPN CITRIC ACID (OPTIONAL)