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Lime Juice & Lime Cordials


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#61 slkinsey

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 12:20 PM

It could also come down to the age of the Rose's. It has shelf stability, but not that much shelf stability. I've definitely noticed from my own pantry that year-old Rose's is different from brand-new Rose's (for one, the color isn't the same). So that might have something to do with it.
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#62 JAZ

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 08:41 PM

As I mentioned here in the Tales of the Cocktail topic, I've been wanting to try Francesco Lafranconi's version of lime cordial ever since I tasted it at the conference.

It took me a while to locate a source for makrut (kaffir) limes and leaves, but they finally arrived, so I decided to give it a try. When I looked at my notes from the seminar, though, I realized that I had no idea (except from my increasingly fuzzy memories) of the amounts of the various ingredients.

I winged it. I started with a cup of demerara sugar, a half ounce of gin and about the same amount of water (just enough to melt the sugar more easily). Since Francesco stirred the mixture with half a lime impaled on a fork, I did the same. When it was melted, I added 1/3 cup Persian lime juice, 1/8 teaspoon each of kosher salt and amchoor, four or five makrut leaves and one makrut lime, cut in half and juiced into the mixture. (He was using dried limes rehyrated with gin; mine are fresh, so I skipped that step.) I then let it simmer for 20 minutes or so and strained it.

The syrup was really thick, much sweeter than Rose's, and dark amber. But the flavor was great -- complex, with a definite hint of bitterness. I kind of like it this way -- I've been using just a quarter ounce per drink, with lots of fresh lime juice, and the resulting Gimlet is really fabulous.

The "fresh" lime syrup that Audrey described earlier in this topic was nice, but this is much more like Rose's, and thus -- for me at least -- a much better choice for a Gimlet.

I'll adjust amounts next time, and I might see if white sugar is okay for flavor, because I think it would result in a much better looking drink. This isn't bad looking, but it's a light amber -- more like a dark rum sour than a Gimlet in looks.

#63 JAZ

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 01:49 PM

Take two on the homemade lime cordial:

This time I used white sugar -- again, 1 cup. I upped the gin to an ounce and the water to 1/4 cup. This made the sugar much easier to melt and resulted in a thinner syrup. The white sugar made for a syrup much more like Rose's in color -- it lacked the neon green hue; in fact, it's much like old Rose's in color.

Since the other makrut limes had been slowly dehydrating in the freezer, they didn't yield much juice, but it's my understanding that most of the flavor in them comes from the peel. I think in my next batch, I might also add the zest from a Persian lime as well (might make for a brighter green syrup as well.

I think at this point I'm pretty close to what Francesco made (going by memory, of course), and I certainly have something I can drink in Gimlets. I'll probably play around with a few permutations, but I think the basic formula is sound.

#64 feste

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 11:12 AM

Reviving an old topic here...

Can anyone tell me what the definition of a "cordial" is? After much research, it appears that "Rose's Lime Juice" and "Rose's Lime Cordial" are (almost?) the same thing: sweetened preserved lime juice. Maybe the cordial used to have alcohol in it, but not any more, and is still labeled as "cordial."

Some of you in the bay area are familiar with my syrups. I've been working on a Rose's substitute and have finally figured it out, and would like to label it "lime cordial" because that just sounds better than "lime syrup." But I've got to be accurate.

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#65 slkinsey

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 12:11 PM

Here is the dictionary definition:

The OED has "cordial" as: a medicine, food or beverage which invigorates the heart and stimulates the circulation; a comforting or exhilarating drink. Comm. Aromatized and sweetened spirit, used as a beverage.

Here is the legal definition for the US:

§ 5.22(h) defines "cordials and liqueurs" as: products obtained by mixing or redistilling distilled spirits with or over fruits, flowers, plants, or pure juices therefrom, or other natural flavoring materials, or with extracts derived from infusions, percolation, or maceration of such materials, and containing sugar, dextrose, or levulose, or a combination thereof, in an amount not less than 21/2 percent by weight of the finished product.


This is why, I think, the Rose's Lime Cordial sold in the US has some alcohol in it (also necessary for it to be sold in liquor stores in some states). This is also why the US seems to be the only country where it is mainly known as Rose's Lime Juice (minus "cordial"), with Rose's Lime Cordial being most common internationally. If we are seeing the "cordial" version in the US with no alcohol, perhaps these are imports?



From a practical standpoint, when I hear "lime syrup" I think of just that: a lime-flavored sugar syrup. When I hear "lime cordial" I think of sweetened preserved lime juice, with acidity and some of that preserved funk that lime syrup doesn't have.

Edited by slkinsey, 14 September 2008 - 12:18 PM.

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#66 JAZ

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:38 PM

Sam, as far as I've been able to tell, the major difference is that the product sold in the US (Rose's Lime Juice) is made with high fructose corn syrup and the one sold in the UK and Canada (Rose's Lime Cordial) is made with sugar.

I've never seen anything on the subject that indicates that the cordial or the juice ever contained alcohol. The main reason that Rose's was first developed was to provide a lime juice that was preserved without using alcohol -- that's the way it was advertised as well.

It was marketed as being healthy (and later, a hangover cure), so that might be the sense in which the term "cordial" was originally used. Since the legal US definition of "cordial" stipulates alcohol, it seems to me that this is probably the reason that it's not called "Lime Cordial" in the States.

#67 KatieLoeb

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:53 PM

My recipe for fresh lime cordial that I've been using at my bar is in RecipeGuillet. Ingredients are far more accessable and the acid powders give the end result excellent shelf life when refrigerated. The little touch of rosewater makes it much tastier than Rose's IMHO. It can be adjusted to taste and made a bit sweeter with more sugar if that's how you like it. Makes a righteous gimlet with some Hendrick's. :smile:

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#68 slkinsey

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 03:57 PM

Sam, as far as I've been able to tell, the major difference is that the product sold in the US (Rose's Lime Juice) is made with high fructose corn syrup and the one sold in the UK and Canada (Rose's Lime Cordial) is made with sugar.

This most likely indicates that the HFCS version is manufactured in the US, where economies favor HFCS over sugar. The non-HFCS version would therefore not be manufactured in the US. This may account for the observation some people have made that the Cordial version is often darker colored than the Juice version -- if the Cordial is imported, it's likely quite a bit older.


I've never seen anything on the subject that indicates that the cordial or the juice ever contained alcohol. The main reason that Rose's was first developed was to provide a lime juice that was preserved without using alcohol -- that's the way it was advertised as well.

My understanding (and this is mentioned upthread) is that there is a special version of Rose's formulated with a nominal amount of alcohol so that it can be sold in liquor stores in states that would otherwise prohibit its sale in liquor stores. This would be purely a legal thing. It sounds like I'm wrong about the US-based differentiation of Juice versus Cordial -- but I'm pretty sure that there is a Rose's Lime Something sold in liquor stores in certain states with around 1% alcohol.

Since the legal US definition of "cordial" stipulates alcohol, it seems to me that this is probably the reason that it's not called "Lime Cordial" in the States.

This is my thinking as well, and reinforces my suspicion that any "Cordial" we see in the US is imported and not originally intended for sale in the US.
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#69 Chris Hennes

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:34 AM

My recipe for fresh lime cordial that I've been using at my bar is in RecipeGuillet.  Ingredients are far more accessable and the acid powders give the end result excellent shelf life when refrigerated.  The little touch of rosewater makes it much tastier than Rose's IMHO.  It can be adjusted to taste and made a bit sweeter with more sugar if that's how you like it.  Makes a righteous gimlet with some Hendrick's. :smile:

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Katie, what is the reason behind having both citric and tartaric acid in your recipe? I ask because, naturally, I only have citric, and am feeling lazy... what would I be losing if I only used the citric?

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#70 bostonapothecary

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:52 AM

My recipe for fresh lime cordial that I've been using at my bar is in RecipeGuillet.  Ingredients are far more accessable and the acid powders give the end result excellent shelf life when refrigerated.  The little touch of rosewater makes it much tastier than Rose's IMHO.  It can be adjusted to taste and made a bit sweeter with more sugar if that's how you like it.  Makes a righteous gimlet with some Hendrick's. :smile:

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Katie, what is the reason behind having both citric and tartaric acid in your recipe? I ask because, naturally, I only have citric, and am feeling lazy... what would I be losing if I only used the citric?

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differing acids have different impacts on taste and tartaric would be much sharper. a liqueur producer told me that he often uses malic acid when something might encounter a lot of sunlight because citric and tartaric tend to yellow... it may be part of the phenomenon that makes st. germain turn so golden.
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#71 KatieLoeb

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:42 PM

Chris:

The recipe I based my twists on had both acid powders. The citric acid definitely impacts the tartness of the recipe. I suspect the tartaric acid is more preservative in nature and less for flavoring, but I honestly am not certain. Both are fairly readily available to me (there are two homebrew/winemaking shops closeby) so following the recipe as written wasn't a problem for me. Haven't tried it with just one and not the other so I don't know. I suspect there's a reason it's in there. I just don't know exactly what that is... :unsure:

What I can state with no hesitation is the end result is pretty tasty. I've got lots of loyal clients for gimlets, if that's any incentive for locating or online ordering of the elusive ingredient.

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#72 Chris Hennes

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 06:58 PM

OK, I found some tartaric acid and made this tonight: I need some clarification, though. The recipe says to "heat on high for ten minutes"—does this really translate to "reduce to XX amount" or something along those lines? I couldn't heat on high for 10 minutes, I boiled over after 2 :hmmm: so I just let it simmer vigorously for ten minutes. How much reduction am I looking for, for future reference?

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#73 KatieLoeb

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 02:28 AM

The vigorous simmer should have done the trick. It needs to sit overnight to cool and then get strained and pressed down on with a ladle or spoon to get all the good stuff out of the solids. Add the rose water and let it sit for another day or so to balance out and thicken up a little bit. In the end it should be not too sweet and not too tart, with just a hint of floral aspect. A lot like Rose's, but less "Lime Pledge" and fresher tasting, if that makes sense.

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#74 Chris Hennes

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 02:15 PM

Oh, sure, now I come back to read this, having decidedly NOT pressed down on the solids... too habituated to making stock, I think. Nevertheless, it smells great, and I'm looking forward to giving it a try tomorrow.

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#75 KatieLoeb

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 07:39 PM

Chris:

I'm sure it'll be fine, solids pressed or not. Try a gin gimlet with half an ounce of cordial to 2.5 or 3 oz. of gin and a small splash of fresh lime juice. Shake it like it's someone you hate and strain. Let me know how it came out.

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#76 Chris Hennes

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:56 PM

OK, so now I am nursing a Gimlet using the recipe in Hess's book (2.25 gin, .75 Rose's), of course with the Rose's substituted with homemade. He actually has you stir it, rather than shake it, so I went with that. I think the lime cordial is sorta like a pre-emulsified lime juice, so it doesn't seem to need shaking (though I'll try it on my next one in the interest of science).

In a word: excellent. Really marvelous flavors. I think it would go better with Tanqueray, rather than the Beefeater I used, but still, a really great Gimlet. I'll try it with your recipe next (including the fresh lime juice and the "Shake it like it's someone you hate," too :smile:.

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#77 KatieLoeb

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 10:14 PM

Thanks Chris! Glad it worked out for you. You used the Kaffir lime leaves too, right? I think in addition to the rosewater, that is the key ingredient in "my" version of the lime cordial. Gives it a depth of flavor the Rose's can't match.

Try it with some Hendrick's. The rosewater in the the cordial really focuses that aspect of the gin. Quite delicious and probably my favorite thing to do with it. I also use it as an ingredient in other cocktails and for non-alcoholic limeade for teetotaling guests.

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#78 Dave the Cook

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 12:42 PM

Those of you with an abiding interest in Rose's, as well as Gimlets, should enjoy Janet Zimmerman's take on the two in her Daily Gullet column, Any Other Name.

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#79 12BottleBar

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:43 PM

Resurrecting this because I just came up with a new recipe that I'd like to put to the group for thoughts. Without going into every step of what got me to the end product -- there were too many versions to count -- I've come up with a v1.0 with which I am happy. The goal was to match the major notes of Rose's -- pucker, sour, and a funky finish -- while also capturing the color and clarity. Admittedly, my version isn't nearly as dry as I would like, and I have noticed that it doesn't keep without losing a noticeable amount of steam after a short while. The amounts given are just per the size I made; I've not yet tried it in bulk.

"Preserved" Lime Syrup
3 oz Lime zest-infused Vodka
2 oz Agave Nectar
2 oz Cane Sugar Syrup
0.25 tsp Citric Acid


Steps:

1) The night before, zest 3-4 limes (I used whatever Trader Joe's sells) and cover zest with vodka (I used regular Stoli).
2) Prepare a 1:1 cane sugar syrup
3) On the second day, stir together ingredients to mix.


For a Gimlet, I use 2 parts gin and 1 part of the lime syrup.

I went with the agave to give it the funky undertone, but too much agave got way too sweet. So, I replaced half of it with a basic brown simple syrup. All of my early batches had fresh lime juice as well, but it wasn't until I cut it out that the recipe got anywhere close to Rose's.

I'm curious to hear opinions as well as thoughts on how to reduce the sweetness further and prolong its life.


David