Gin cocktail with honey and lemon cordial

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Gin cocktail with lemon & honey cordialInverroche  Distillery StillbayInverroche  Distillery Stillbay

During our annual Summer holiday in December in the picturesque coastal town of Stillbay, South Africa, we visited Inverroche distillery situated on the outskirts of this sleepy town. I’ve heard plenty about Inverroche’s excellent gins before but have never tried them myself so I was very, very excited about going on the distillery tour. First of all, this is probably one of the most photogenic establishments I’ve ever photographed. Every nook and cranny was stylish and just so beautiful. We were taken to the back of the distillery where the staff were bottling gin and going on with their work while we stood in between them learning how this very small distillery started out and how they’ve grown. We were introduced to “Magnanimous Meg” (the 1000 litre capacity copper pot still in which their gin, brandy and cognac are produced) and taken through the entire process.

Gin cocktail with lemon & honey cordialInverroche  Distillery StillbayInverroche  Distillery StillbayInverroche  Distillery Stillbay

What makes Inverroche so special is that they use the local fynbos surrounding the distillery to flavour their gin which gives it an original flavour, not found in any other gin. The fynbos gives the gin a wonderfully floral aroma and taste which in turn makes the gin incredibly pleasant to drink. So pleasant that I may or may not have left feeling rather tipsy. At the end of our tasting, we were given a small amount of their homemade honey and lemon cordial to taste. I was instantly in love. The perfect balance of tart lemon and sweet, fragrant honey makes this cordial the perfect addition to gin cocktails and works so beautifully when served with tonic/soda water for a non-alcoholic drink.

Gin cocktail with lemon & honey cordialGin cocktail with lemon & honey cordialGin cocktail with lemon & honey cordial

I was so inspired by this cordial that I decided to try my hand at it when I got home and I have to say, I’m pretty chuffed with the results. My cordial was slightly thicker and not as sour as Inverroche’s but the flavour was pretty spot on and I think I have the fynbos honey I used to thank for that. If you can’t find Fynbos honey (honey made from South African fynbos) where you live, Blue gum or Wild blossom honey will work equally well.

Inverroche  Distillery StillbayGin cocktail with lemon & honey cordialInverroche  Distillery Stillbay

I used the cordial in gin cocktails over the weekend and you guys. No really now. I have never tasted a more delicious cocktail. Even people who don’t like honey liked it and asked for the recipe for the cordial (which will be pretty fabulous over creamy vanilla ice cream). So while you look at the pretty pictures of the gorgeous Inverroche, I’m going to sneak to the kitchen and knock together another one of these cocktails. Just to make double sure it’s as delicious as I remember it to be.

Inverroche  Distillery StillbayInverroche  Distillery Stillbay


Gin cocktail with honey and lemon cordial
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cordial, Drinks, Cocktail
Serves: 500ml cordial
  • ¾ cup fynbos honey
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup muscavado (dark brown) sugar
  • Juice and zest of 4 lemons (approximately 1 cup fresh lemon juice)
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Allow the cordial to cook for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is amber in colour and has thickened to a syrupy consistency.
  3. Remove from the heat then allow to cool completely.
  4. When the mixture is cool, strain the lemon zest out and pour into bottles.
  5. Keep refrigerated.
  6. (This cordial will last for 2-3 months if kept in a sterilised bottle in the refrigerator.)

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Showing 10 comments
  • Nicole - Coking for Keeps

    I’ve had a new found love for gin in my upper twenties, a few years ago, you couldn’t pay me to drink it, but now that I know what good gin tastes like, I can’t get enough. These cocktails are simply stunning.

  • Sara teugels

    My two loves! Gin and good photography. Can’t wait trying this recipe.

    Very nice photography.

  • Nina

    I absolutely LOVE gin and your Honey & Lemon Cordial recipe has me all kinds of excited to squeeze some lemons! I also love lemons! And honey! And cocktails! *focus, Nina, focus* I’m wondering if you have any pointers for volumes of gin/soda water/cordial for the perfect cocktail? Did you build the cocktail in a certain order? Hoping to try this delightful sounding beverage with some friends coming for dinner tomorrow night…

    • Alida Ryder

      Thanks for your lovely comment Nina. I used around 1 part gin, 1 part cordial in a medium tumbler over ice and topped it with tonic water. It really just depends on how sour you want your cocktail to be. I also added a few lemon slices because, well, lemons!!

  • Anne von Frisch Verliebt

    I love your beautiful photos. <3

    Best wishes,
    Anne by Frisch Verliebt

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