Lemon, lime and bitters

This year, the poor people of Sydney have experienced what can only be described as an Irish summer. Well perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration; seeing as Irish summer is the one day in July where the mercury reaches 22 °C and the entire population goes to the beach to eat ice-cream and get sunburnt. No, the weather here hasn’t been that extreme; but by Sydney standards, it hasn’t been great either. And the poor Sydneysides are getting very very upset and muttering a lot about vitamin D withdrawal symptoms.

This weekend however has been fabulous. Not too hot or humid, but by no means cold; it has been nice, bright and sunny. This morning we went to Clovelly to go snorkelling with friends and then enjoyed a fish and chip lunch by the water. It was beautiful, but the drive back was hot, and we were both sweaty and flustered by the time we got home, and in dire need of a cold and refreshing drink.

Enter lemon, lime and bitters, possibly thee most refreshing drink in the world. And so apt on a hot summers day like today. Yumo.

Lemon, lime and bitters seems to be a real Australian thing, I had never heard of it, nor tasted it until I started coming here on holidays with The Fella. After one of our holidays here, we actually brought bottles of Angostura Bitters home to Ireland, as we could never find any in Dublin. Shortly after that trip, we were in Westport for a weekend and found loads of the stuff in the town-centre Centra. It was totally bizarre! Perhaps there’s a large Australian community in Westport, or perhaps they’ve just copped on to how god-damn delicious the stuff is.

So if you’re in Sydney, make this and soak up the last of the evening sun, apparently there’s a storm coming tonight, so you might as well enjoy the weather while you can. If you’ve got no place to go, you might even add in a wee sneaky splash of vodka or rum!

And for those of you at home in Ireland, you’ve got five whole months until summer arrives to find a shop selling Angostura Bitters and buy up the lot.

Lemon, lime and bitters


Makes two long drinks
a handful of ice cubes
2 tsp lime cordial
juice of 1 lemon, plus a few slices to decorate if you’re feeling fancy
juice of 1 lime
500 ml lemonade
1 tsp Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Add the ice and a teaspoon of lime cordial to each glass. Divide the lemon and lime juice between the glasses and then top up with the lemonade. Once the glasses are full, add the bitters and watch the reddish cloud slowly filter down through the rest of the liquid.

If you prefer a more tart taste, use soda water instead of lemonade. Likewise if you prefer a sweeter taste, omit the fresh lemon and lime juice and put in more of the lime cordial. And like I mentioned above, this works very well with a shot of vodka or rum, basically it’s totally up to you.


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