Is your lemon balm going mad in your herb garden, too?
There is a simple way to use it up and make space for other herbs:
Cordial - homemade so no additives and a lovely refreshing taste on hot summer days for all the family!
For 2l of cordial you only need:
750g lemon balm leaves (freshly picked and washed)
2kg granulated sugar
25g citric acid (get it from your local pharmacist)
a big clay pot (do not use metal as it impacts on the flavour, but you can glass, or at a push plastic, as a possible alternative)
a tea towel
bottles for the cordial
How to make it:
You boil the water in a big pot and dissolve the sugar in it.
Place the lemon balm and the cut citric fruit in your bowl and pour over the still warm sugar water.
Cover with the tea towel, but leave a little gap so the mix can 'breathe', in a warm place for 2-3 days.
Then place a clean tea towel, or if you have muslin, in a sieve and pass through the mix with into a cooking pot where you boil the liquid again, with the citric acid for about 3 mins.
Wash out the bottles you intend to use and sterilise them by pouring boiling water from the kettle into them until they overflow and only touch them on the outside before you then fill the still warm cordial into them and close them well.
You can keep the cordial at room temperature for about 3 months, but once opened, keep the bottle in the fridge and drink within a couple of weeks.
Try this and enjoy the refreshing taste of your homemade drink with some sparkling water, soda or tonic water.