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.