Details matter and the erosion of details results in slightly less than desired flavor in food preparation. I am modifying the famous NEW YORK TIMES LIME CORDIAL
recipe which is quite excellent to start with. It however exists in the 92nd percentile of excellence but the good news is with one simple tool and one slight modification in the process, you can move it up to the 100th percentile of excellent flavor. Here is the deal. There are certain tools that just do what they do so much better as far as specific processes are concerned, not only are they faster but they also produce quantifiably better results flavor wise.
The Tool :
If you are going to take the time to zest 18 excellent limes, the first thing you need to do is buy yourself a MICROPLANE
. You want the one with the finest blades that shave citrus zest like snow. It is just a complete and counter-productive waste of time to zest citrus fruits any other way. It is preferable to hold the fruit and move the microplane as opposed to the reverse (move the fruit and hold the microplane).... Tools do the work not the ingredients.
The Technique :
Read the New York Times Recipe in it's entirety. The essential problem with this recipe is flavor transfer from lime to cordial which is 100% dependent on how much lime oil you capture. The specific change to the recipe is to microplane-grate the lime zest directly into the sugar and mix it in thoroughly after each lime. The citrus oil is immediately captured by the sugar with less of the volatile compounds dissipating into thin air. You can then proceed to juice the limes and add the juice to the lime zest sugar mixture. The result is far more intense than the original recipe. If you are so inclined it also tastes much better if it is vacuum sealed for 24 hrs.