I follow an old traditional recipe and use common almond essence. This recipe came from those days when it was a necessity to be frugal in the kitchen.
Ruggata is very quick to make, contains a lot of sugar. You can use stevia if you wish but it does not achieve exactly the same results.
This is a cordial and I know it seems like a lot of sugar [and it does contain a lot of sugar], but remember that you can store it as a cordial in the fridge, in the hot Maltese summer for about a month. Then you can just add water when you need to use it. And most important, is that dash of evaporated milk, just before serving for that old fashioned taste and of course cloudy colour.
For Maltese Ruggata you will need 2 litres of water 6 cloves juice of 1 lemon the rind of 1/2 lemon 1 teaspoon of almond essence 1 cinnamon stick 1 kilo sugar And to finish off before serving, you will need a dash of evaporated milk.
Place the water into a large pot. Add the cloves and the cinnamon stick, the almond essence, the lemon juice and the lemon rind. Finally add the sugar.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain it by passing it through a sieve. Allow it to cool completely.
Then transfer it to bottles and keep in the fridge until required.
To serve: Place ice cubes in the glasses add some cordial, water and finish off with a dash of evaporated milk. This changes the colour completely. Add some lemon slices and serve.
I use ingredients by Lamb Brand