Avoid Harmful Effects of Artificial Sweeteners – Making Cordials and Syrups at Home

By Lace / June 30, 2018
homemade elderflower cordial

Over the years it’s become increasingly difficult to obtain drinks that aren’t loaded with artificial sweeteners. Posing as the ‘good guys’ boasting that they are sugar-free these drinks are hiding something from the consumer. Sugar-free IS good but not when the beverage is instead laced with nasty sweet chemical poison. Now, with this stooopid sugar tax and the decline in availability of cordials without sweeteners, I’ve had enough. I choose to avoid the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners and making my own cordial allows me to do that. If you shun artificial crap like I do, I’d encourage you to get creating cordials and syrups at home too. Sure, sugar isn’t a beacon of health but I feel it’s preferable to sweet chemical experiments. Not to mention the associated ‘side effects’ aka health complaints they bring.

When it comes to store-bought beverages I choose sugar over artificial sweeteners any day of the week quite frankly. In moderation, of course. Besides, it’s nice to have something other than water to drink with various fruit floating in it. Don’t get me wrong, I too enjoy a slice of lemon and lime in by purified water, homemade cordials just offer something a little special. So, if you want to avoid the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners and recreate cordials like they used to be, this post is for you. Today, I’m sharing homemade cordial and syrup recipes I’ve been experimenting with lately. Super simple and great fun with the kiddos, these recipes will save you money and quench your thirst – without the chemical kick. Whoo hoo!

Avoid Harmful Effects of Artificial Sweeteners – Sweet Poison

Don’t be fooled. Those bottles that boast ‘sugar-free’ are by no means healthy. In fact, there’s mounting evidence that the artificial sweeteners used instead are worse for our health. Not to mention these sweeteners tend to be 200+ times SWEETER than sugar! Its little wonder that we’re all tripping balls and getting sick from ingesting this stuff. These are some common artificial sweeteners to look out for and avoid.


Introduced in the 1980s and found in just about every commercially manufactured drink going, aspartame doesn’t have a great rep. It’s the common denominator in over 90 health complaints including but not limited to:

  • Headaches (very common so if you have Headaches cut aspartame and see if it improves)
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Depression
  •  Suicidal tenancies
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Alzheimers
  • ALS – think Steven Hawkins. Nuff said.

And the list goes on and on… Disturbing don’t you think?

Using magnesium can also help with chronic fatigue, headaches and improve cognitive function. Find out how in my magnesium oil post and my guide to the best forms of magnesium supplements.


Another 80s creation and now in almost everything, this stuff is mank. In rodents, this chemical cocktail was reported to cause lung, breast and thymus tumors, several types of leukemia and respiratory disease. Jeez. Yet the FDA were doubtful of the findings and gave acesulfame-K the stamp of approval to be added to food anyway. I suspect there was just too much profit to be made in the from the illness it would cause by food industry’s other big business – the pharmaceutical industry. But who knows…


Until 2001, products containing this crap carried a health warning ‘use of this product may damage your health’. That’s because saccharin was found to cause cancer in animal studies. In 2001 the FDA decided it does pose a risk to humans so the labels were dropped. The 2016 review ‘are artificial sweeteners safe? ‘ hardly paints a picture of health, saccharin is associated with a whole list of health problems. The FDA reckon there are more than 30 human studies showing its safe, they just seemingly forgot to cite any of them in their write up on saccharin’s safety.

Artificial sweeteners are bad news. The government touting these additives as perfectly safe makes my ears prick up, to be honest. Artificial sweeteners are no good and should be avoided like the plague. Sugar, mind you, isn’t great either but when it comes to making concentrate and syrups at home it’s a popular ingredient. Artificial sweeteners, on the other hand, are fake manufactured chemical experiments. I will be experimenting with alternatives like honey though. Suggestions are welcomed on a postcard or just comment at the end of this post 🙂 Here are a few summer drinks we like to create at home.

Elderflower cordial

homemade elderflower cordial

Our batch of back garden elderflower cordial. Delicious!

This is a delicious delicately flavored beverage. Elderflower has long been used in traditional medicine and is known for its antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties and brimming with antioxidants. Elderflower can help with allergies, keep you regular (if you know what I mean?) and is an effective antiviral which boosts the immune system. With properties like that and the abundance in which elderflower grows in the wild, it’s rude not to use some of mother nature’s goodness. We always ask the trees if we can have some of their flowers and thank them afterward. Some may call it weird but its just good manners really.

We made elderflower cordial last year and I’m not gonna lie, it sucked. So when the elderflowers came into flower this year, we were determined to get it right. I stumbled across this recipe and we gave it a whirl. To our absolute delight, it’s scrummy delicious. I’m confident that elderflower fans will appreciate this tasty homemade cordial from The Spruce Eats.

>>>Check out the delicious Elderflower Cordial recipe here. <<<


Passion fruit syrup

passion fruit syrup

Last week while in the supermarket with my children we bagged a load of reduced priced passion fruits. Of course, I’d prefer to have gathered them from my great-grandmother’s backyard passion fruit tree but Morrisons is over the road and Jamaica is 5000 miles away, so the supermarket bought it was!

Passion fruit is rich in vitamin A and C which support skin and eye health as well as boosting the immune system. They are an excellent source of fiber and are anti-cancer being rich in antioxidants. Passionate fruit is abundant in trace minerals like magnesium and phosphorus which improves bone density, regulate blood pressure and promote circulation. Not to mention they are delicious and can help keep wrinkles at bay too.

The method we followed is from the Epicurious blog.

>>>Try out Epicurious Passion Fruit Syrup here<<<

We are really pleased with the simplicity of this method and it certainly delivers a wonderful syrup. Dilute with sparkling water and ice for the perfect refreshing drink. Want a more adult drink? Make a cheeky cocktail and enjoy.

Homemade lemonade

homemade lemonade

Homemade lemonade in our Rocks ‘no crap’ cordial bottle. Yummy!

Lemons are great for their antiseptic antibacterial and anti-cancer properties. They support digestion and cleanse the gut making them great for those suffering from indigestion. Lemon will sooth respiratory disease and promote weight loss. I’d say those are compelling reasons to enjoy homemade lemonade and honestly, nothing compares. That transparent shite in plastic bottles has NOTHING on the real stuff. If you’ve not dabbled in making lemonade yet, now is THE time to start. It’s so moreish and is just perfect on a hot summers day. Dilute with filtered or sparkling water, ice, a slice of fresh lemon and sip away.

>>>Try the recipe from the Stay at Home Chef here<<<

There are modifications using honey and stevia as the sweetener but I’m not sure about stevia powders. I’ve heard mixed things on stevia, more investigation required me thinks. Regarding honey, we only use raw, unheated local honey to boil it as the recipe suggests would destroy the goodness of the honey. Absolute sacrilege. I won’t do it! Hence, we opted to use sugar.


With artificial sweeteners appearing in just about every shop-bought beverage available, DIY syrups and cordials are an appealing method of escape. Despite so-called health bodies claiming artificial sweeteners safety, I feel this is yet to be demonstrated. It’s evident from the all too common modern-day diseases that something has gone wrong. I am of the opinion that aspartame and friends have much to answer for. As someone who is keen to peruse health and ditch, artificial sweeteners, making homemade drinks is a great solution. DIY drinks are simple, easy on the pocket and make great fun if you get the kiddos involved, so why not give it a go? We’ve certainly enjoyed our kitchen drinks creations and I’m certain we’ll be making more in the not too distant future. Which will you try first? Let me know in the comments below!

Yours in refreshing deliciousness,


How did you get on with the recipes here? Do you think you have suffered from aspartame toxicity? Share your thoughts and favorite homemade drinks ideas below.





About the author


Wife, mother and natural health and wellness enthusiast. When I'm not dabbling in natural stuff, I like to eat brie with onion chutney and mull over a good "coincidence" theory. Cooking up a nutritious storm, books with real pages and being barefoot are a few of my favourite things.

  • Tammy says:

    Oh my that Elderflower cordial looks so good and seems to be very healthy and good for you. I’m going to give it a try for my allergies and get all of the other benefits you mentioned. I love homemade lemonade too!

    Artificial sweeteners are so bad and I’m glad you are writing about them. I avoid all of them…

    Thanks for another informative post! 🙂

    • Lace says:

      Oh the elderflower cordial is just delish Tammy! I hope you enjoy it and all it’s health benefits. Glad you enjoyed this post, keep up the avoidance of those artificial sweeteners!

  • Steven says:

    Hi Lace!

    We make this elderflower liqueur as a replacement for St. Germain as it can be very expensive. We also make our own Limoncello. Here is the recipe we use for our homemade St. Germain 🙂


    10-20 fresh elderflowers (dried elderflowers will also work)
    750 ml bottle vodka
    3 slices lemon
    1/4-1/2 cup honey or sugar (optional)

    Cut the elderflowers off the stem into a quart sized jar until it is almost full.

    Pour the bottle of vodka over the elderflowers, then top with the slices of lemon to keep the flowers under the vodka.

    Cover the jar with a lid and put it in a cool and dark place for 2-4 weeks.

    Strain out the elderflowers with a fine mesh sieve, then add the optional honey or sugar and stir well or shake to combine.

    It can be consumed right away or aged longer if desired. It will keep indefinitely.

    • Lace says:

      Fantastic recipe Steve, thank you so much for sharing it with me. I will be giving this a whirl next year when the elderflowers return. I’m glad to see it keeps for a long time too. It sounds delish!

  • Steven says:

    Hi Lace!

    Your articles never cease to amaze me. I never, ever, ever put crap into my body and your article explains in detail why. But better then just explaining why we shouldn’t ever consider using artificial sweeteners you go into all the wonderful ways to make delicious and mouth watering treats! I’m a huge fan of elderflower Liqueur and can’t wait to make my own…and homemade lemonade! It’s the best! Thanks for this great post. I’ll be checking back in for sure!

    • Lace says:

      Hi Steve,

      It’s great to hear from you again. I feel it’s only helpful to offer healthy alternatives to all the crap that’s on offer. It’s all good and well saying ‘blah is bad’ and why but without an alternative to try it’s easy to feel lost. I want to make your life easier as well as healthier 🙂

      Elderflower liqueur? Do share your recipe with me, it sounds divine! You’re right, homemade lemonade rocks. We’re making more tomorrow!

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