With the zingy freshness of luscious lemons and the kick of gin, this gin and tonic lemon marmalade is a total taste treat for your toast in the morning or with a cheese board in the evening too.
What’s to love about this recipe?
- Gin and tonic lemon marmalade is a bit of fun and who doesn’t want some fun at the breakfast table!
- This is an easy marmalade to make.
- There are just a few ingredients in my lemon marmalade, adding the gin and tonic just makes it extra special.
Marmalade making has always been a big tradition in my family. My Grandmother then my Mum used to make marmalade every January. The marmalade season they called it.
From standard Seville orange marmalade to lovely lemon marmalade they made it all.
My Mum loved a gin and tonic in the evening so I just know she would have loved my gin and tonic lemon marmalade. It would make her smile.
What is marmalade?
Marmalade is a sweet preserve made with citrus fruit. You can add other things to the marmalade but it is always based on citrus fruit as opposed to jam which can be made from any fruits, veggies etc.
The first marmalade wasn’t actually made from oranges at all, instead, it was made from quince fruit. The marmalade comes from the Portuguese marmelo, the name for the quince paste.
These old marmalades were actually solid, packed in boxes and cut into squares rather like Turkish delight.
There is of course the old story of Dundee marmalade and a shipload of oranges being dumped in Dundee and Mrs Keeler making a jam from it.
However you want to look at it, marmalade has a long history and has been a great British staple on the breakfast table for centuries.
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Ingredients for gin and tonic lemon marmalade
Well, there are lemons (unwaxed lemons – or see my notes below) as this is a lemon marmalade, and gin (would be rude not to have that in there!), plus tonic and sugar.
I’ve also added a few juniper berries to my lemon marmalade as they enhance the flavour of the gin in the marmalade.
You can add a knob of butter just to stop the lemon marmalade from having scum on top whilst cooking. This is optional.
How to remove the wax from citrus fruit
If you don’t have access to unwaxed lemons don’t worry. All you need to do to remove the protective wax coating is to scrub the fruit in hot soapy water then rinse and pat dry.
How to make gin and tonic lemon marmalade
I like to use the French method for making this lemon marmalade. That means I like to soak the lemon peel in the tonic water overnight along with the juniper berries and the little bag of pith.
Why do this? Well leaving the peel in liquid overnight helps to soften the lemon peel and also aids in the release of pectin, that all-important setting agent in jams and marmalades.
Add to that you are letting the flavours develop. The juniper, tonic and lemon all mixing together.
Anyway, before you even do this you have to peel the lemons for your gin and tonic lemon marmalade. Peel the skin off as finely as you can avoiding the white pith, then chop it up into very thin strips or small pieces.
Cut away the pith and chop up the flesh of the lemons. You want to just keep the pith from one of the lemons and chop this up.
Put this pith into a piece of muslin along with the juniper berries and lemon pips/seeds and tie it up to keep everything inside.
Now it’s time to put everything in a pan, pop on a lid and leave it overnight.
The next day boil the peel then lower heat and simmer for about an hour till everything is tender. This will actually depend on how finely you cut the lemon peel.
Now remove the muslin bag, let it cool till you can handle it then squeeze it well over the pan. Then discard the contents and wash out the muslin for your next marmalade-making session.
Add the sugar to the pan and boil for about 20 minutes till it reaches that magical setting point of 105C. Check out my preserving information page for how to check for set using a saucer etc.
Skim off any frothy scum from the top of your marmalade and stir through the gin. Now leave it for 5 minutes before potting up to allow the lemon peel to be suspended throughout the marmalade.
Carefully ladle the gin and tonic lemon marmalade into sterilised jars.
New to preserving? Then don’t panic, I can take you from zero to hero in no time at all.
Just check out these handy articles to get you heading in the right direction fast;
How much marmalade does this make?
I got 4 x 250g jars of my gin and tonic lemon marmalade from this recipe.
How long does this keep?
Your gin and tonic lemon marmalade will keep for up to a year in a cool dark cupboard. Once opened store your marmalade in the fridge and use up within a month.
How to serve this lemon marmalade
The obvious one is to serve your gin and tonic lemon marmalade on toast or croissants as a breakfast treat. What better way to get a kick of gin into your day and early too!
However, this lemon marmalade makes a great glaze when you are roasting a chicken. Just loosen it with a little water and spread it over the top of the bird before popping it into the oven. Try it on pork too.
You can glaze carrots for roasting using this lemon marmalade in the same way.
Serve some gin and tonic lemon marmalade with a cheese board.
Spread your gin and tonic lemon marmalade into cakes as a filling for a bitter/sweet tang of lemon.
Add some lemon marmalade to a stirfry and other Asian-inspired dishes for extra sweet and sour lemony flavour.
Use gin and tonic lemon marmalade as part of a cocktail of course!
Looking for more tasty marmalade recipes to try? Then check these out before you go;
Or check out my entire Jelly and Marmalade Section for loads more inspiration.
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Gin And Tonic Lemon Marmalade
- 750 g lemons 5 large lemons
- 750 ml tonic water
- 4 juniper berries
- 750 g sugar
- 75 ml gin
- Remove protective wax from lemons if not unwaxed – see my notes
- Peel the lemons and finely chop the peel. Remove pith retaining the pith from 1 lemon – discard the rest
- Chop lemon flesh and place in pan with lemon peel and tonic water
- Put the pips/seeds, pith from 1 lemon and juniper berries into a muslin bag and pop this in the pan and cover and leave overnight
- Boil then simmer about 1 hour till peel is tender (depends on thickness of peel)
- Squeeze the pith bag into the pan then discard, add the sugar and heat gently till dissolved then boil for about 20 minutes till it reaches setting point.
- Add the gin and stir through then wait 5 minutes to let the peel settle before ladling into sterilised jars