I was introduced to Meyer lemons last year when Holly at Nothing But Bonfires posted about using them to make a sort of citron pressé, and even though I’ve never had a true, French citron pressé, I was absolutely positive upon reading it that it was the only thing on earth that would ever make me happy.
I was not wrong.
So, my obsession began last year, but I had to keep it somewhat in check because, well, Meyer lemons are not the cheapest fruit at the market.
(And, in case you’re not familiar with Meyer lemons and you’re wondering why I’m losing my mind over such a specific type of lemon, let me explain. I mean, yes, it’s a lemon, but it’s like a lemon that already had a wee bit of sugar added to it so the juice, while still totally lemon-y, is sweet enough to almost sip on its own. Especially if you’re like me and find yourself occasionally sucking on regular lemon wedges while everyone around you makes a puckered face.)
This year, though, things changed. My running group was holding a holiday party, and one of my friends mentioned that he’d be bringing a bunch of lemons from his tree to make his famous whiskey sours. And then, he mentioned that it was a Meyer lemon tree, and I decided to make him my best friend.
Long story short, there was still a good sized bag of Meyer lemons left at the end of the party, and I got to take them all. I’ve been mixing the juice with sparkling water on the regular, which is perfect for this time of year, really, because it’s just about as close as you can get to having a cocktail without being an actual cocktail. It feels fancy and festive, so it’s a great substitute for champagne if you’re acting as the DD (or just want to celebrate without alcohol). To make the citron pressé-type drink, pour just a bit of juice into a glass and mix with a good amount of sparkling water, then adjust to taste.
I also used it for my Christmas presents, using it (along with some fresh basil from another friend’s house) to infuse vodkas for some friends and family — I can’t wait to find out how it turned out! And by find out, obviously, I mean taste.
But, I mentioned the whiskey sours above, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share that with you!
Dr. Folta’s Famous Whiskey Sours
Simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water: boil water, slowly add sugar. Can be stored in the fridge.)
Good, vanilla-y whiskey (Recommended: The ABC brand Wiser’s Deluxe for whiskey. It’s cheap-ish, and the flavor is good, and doesn’t overpower the lemons.)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 part simple syrup, one part lemon juice, 2 parts whiskey. Do it over ice where the volume just covers the cubes, shake it hard and then pour over ice with a strainer. It does not overpower the lemons/sugar.
I kid you not, I have never been so surprised by how much I loved a cocktail. I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, but the Meyer lemons sucked me in, and I’m so glad they did! It’s one of the best drinks I’ve ever (EVER) had.
Have you tried Meyer lemons? Are you as crazy about them as I am? And do you have any amazing recipes to share? —Kristen