Meyer Lemon Cocktail
There’s no question that standard supermarket lemons are an indispensable ingredient in cooking and baking. They’re yellow and tart, and there’s never any mystery about what’s inside. But there’s one variety of lemon that I’m really crazy about–the Meyer lemon. Meyer lemons are a cross between the standard lemon and mandarin oranges, and they have the best qualities of both fruits. The mandarin orange genetics tame the harshness of the lemon. They’re like crack to me. I’ll drive miles across town to a grocery store I know has them. Unfortunately the season is short. They start making an appearance here in Las Vegas in late December and seem to go missing by the end of January. I make the most of them while I can by freezing a few cups of juice in half-cup portions for use later in the year. It’s liquid gold to me.
One of the best ways to appreciate the nuances of this citrus fruit is in a simple glass of lemonade. This easy recipe makes the best lemonade imaginable, but we like to add a shot of a good tequila or rum for a very nice adult version of lemonade.
The base for this cocktail is a quick sugar syrup scented by a bit of the rind, easily removed with a vegetable peeler prior to cutting in half and squeezing the juice. Meyer lemons are very juicy with a thin skin, making them easy to squeeze. The recipe below is for one drink, but mixing up a pitcher is easy, perfect for football games and entertaining.
Meyer Lemon Cocktail
1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup cold sugar syrup (see recipe below), more or less to taste
1 shot (1.5 ounces) tequila, rum or vodka
Fill a glass to the top with crushed ice. Add the lemonade mixture and liquor of choice. Garnish, if desired with fresh fruit, mint or a lemon wedge. Stir & serve.
Makes one 8-ounce cocktail.
Meyer Lemon Scented Syrup
Makes 1 cup
2 Meyer lemons
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (colored layer of skin only) from the lemons in large strips.
Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture is clear. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Can be easily doubled for a large batch of lemonade.
Note…when we’re serving a large party or event, we’re particularly fond of the fun and unique eco-friendly serving options like the fruit pic shown in the photo above, that we find at Restaurantware.com