Ruġġata Tal-Lewz ~ Almond Cordial

Ruggata Tal-Lewz
Ruggata Tal-Lewz

Now that the summer is starting to make it’s mark, I always like to have a bit of Ruġġata tal-Lewz in my refrigerator, diluted with water and ready to pour and enjoy. It’s the perfect thirst quencher and goes down like honey on those hot hot days when it feels like you’re being cooked from the inside out.

Back in the 70’s, my mum would take my sister, brother and me to Valletta on those well known hot Maltese summer days, and after a morning at the market, we would always look forward to going to Zachary Street in Valletta for that chilled ruġġata that would cool our senses or rather induce instant brain freeze. I believe that shop no longer sells ruġġata there as Valletta’s changed a lot since the 70’s.

There would always be a crowd huddled at that little corner window shop with everybody shouting

“Hey, boy, it’s my turn” while waving their liras about to get “the boy’s” attention.

And with great patience he would serve everyone with a smile, knowing that in that heat, everyone’s hot temper would be just about ready to explode.

This is the home made version of our delectable almond cordial…

It might seem like it has a lot of sugar, but don’t forget that you have to dilute this and you only use about a quarter cup to about eight ounces of water and ice!

Cinnamon & Cloves
Cinnamon & Cloves


5 cups water
600gr sugar
lemon rind
12 cloves
1-2 sticks cinnamon
2 tsp almond essence (or more to taste)
1 tsp vanilla essence
evaporated milk (about a quarter cup)



Place the water, sugar, lemon rind, cloves and cinnamon in a pot and let it boil.
Reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat.
When the mixture cools, pass it through a sieve to remove rind and cloves.
Add essences and a little bit of evaporated milk.
Pour in clean bottles and place them in the fridge.
Dilute with water to taste.


Ruġġata Tal-Lewz
Ruġġata Tal-Lewz

9 thoughts on “Ruġġata Tal-Lewz ~ Almond Cordial”

  1. Oh G, I loved that drink when I had it at your home, it kind of reminded me of the mexican horchata except that was made with rice. but i am going to try and make it and will make it less sweet or I am sure that I can make it to taste. Thank you for sharing the recipe. And just to let you know that my friend is going to make your Fitras with her 35 years old starter cuz she saw that on my blog. I tell ya, everyone loves that Maltese bread from my blog. =) Thanks to you.

    1. If you decide to try this, leave the recipe as it is (or half it, if I know you well enough Ivy;), and when you dilute it, just add more water than when you had it at my house…ha ha…you know me, I like a bit of sweet:)

      WOW, 35 yrs!! That’s almost older than me!! wink wink…you have to tell me how she likes it! That’s awesome!

    1. Oh but it is…I only like making simple things…don’t like to be confuzzled 🙂 (oh just learned that word from my twelve year old…love it:)

  2. Thank you for this recipe. My mother gave me hers, but it wasn’t clear in some of the steps. I followed yours and I’m loving it.

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