You are going to have to trust me that this post is not sponsored by Meyer lemons—or any kind of lemons, or any kind of fruit at all, although damn, I hear the boysenberry pays well*—but I am really, really into them at the moment.
* (I don't really hear that. I don't even know what a boysenberry is. Also, I just realized I should have said "I hear the grape pays well" because then you would have said "where did you hear that?" and I could have said "you know, through the grapevine.")
And yes, I realize that "I'm really into Meyer lemons" is the sort of pretentious thing from which you would run screaming if you saw it on someone's dating profile—actually, would you? Because on second thought I'm wondering if I might hit them up with a quick message to ask them where they find the best deal—but bear with me on this because nothing else particularly exciting is going on in my life right now and unless you want to hear about work (you don't, and also I would probably get fired), we're going to have to talk about Meyer lemons today and the various ways in which I am consuming them.
Rest assured, however, that there will be no artily Instagrammed pictures of my Meyer lemons (NOT A EUPHEMISM) (GOOD ONE, THOUGH) to accompany this post. Mostly because I have already consumed them all. And also because I figure you know what lemons look like.
So what I am primarily doing with my Meyer lemons is making the world's best drink with them. It is really, really, really easy and all you need—apart from a Meyer lemon or two—is a glass and some fizzy water. I'm telling you, this isn't rocket science. It is, however, delicious science.
The French have a drink called the citron pressé, which I vividly remember ordering for the first time, aged 14, in a cafe in the south of France during a school field trip. This sounds glamorous, until you remember that I went to school in England, which is so close to France that it is basically the equivalent of taking a field trip to, I don't know, that living museum three towns over from your middle school where people dressed up in colonial bonnets and did live candle-making demonstrations and tried to remain in character while vengeful tweens threw their gum wrappers at them.
When I first tried the citron pressé, my eyes rolled back in my head and a choir of angels sang—except of course they sang in French which made it even more fancy—and I vowed right then and there that I would drink the citron pressé every day for the rest of my life. It felt like kind of a fiddly multi-step process, though, and things got sort of busy between the ages of 14 and 32, so I ended up only drinking a handful more citron pressés in the intervening years, which was kind of a disappointment, sure, but I was also convinced, when I was 14, that I would one day marry Jon Bon Jovi, and since that didn't end up panning out too well either, I guess I just sort of figured eh, another broken dream.
But then a few weeks ago I was down at my parents' house in San Diego and my mother was squeezing Meyer lemons for a lemon meringue pie, and she had a little bit of lemon juice left over so she poured it into a glass for me and filled it up with some San Pellegrino, and when I took a sip my first thought was WAIT, THIS IS A CITRON PRESSÉ.
Now, technically, a citron pressé is a little bit of freshly-squeezed lemon juice, topped up with a little bit of sparkling water—which is brought to you in its own separate fancy carafe—and sweetened with a teaspoon or two of granulated sugar. You make the whole thing yourself at your little café table, adding the water and sugar to taste, and then you take a sip, pucker your mouth into a hugely unflattering grimace, and add another tablespoon of sugar. Basically, it's DIY lemonade, but you get to feel like Catherine Deneuve while you're drinking it.
(Also, when saying the words citron pressé to each other, my sister and I can only do so in a high-pitched voice while closing our eyes tight and making the puckered-up face with our lips. I realize that I should have told you this part at the beginning so you could have done the same throughout this whole post.)
What I have come to find out, though, is that you can make a pretty decent facsimile at home—with way less effort than my 14-year-old-self realized—and, what's more, if you use Meyer lemons (told you I would get to the point eventually), you don't even need the sugar. They're sweet enough, you see—which, if you thought hard enough about, I think you could probably somehow make into a pretty convincing pick-up line. (Hey baby, are you a Meyer lemon? Because you sure look sweet to me. Or something along those lines. Okay, I am clearly not the person to do this. Haven't been on a date since 1998.)
And so all this is to say that I have been making the poor man's citron pressé pretty much every day for the last couple of weeks, and I'm not sure why I needed to write seven hundred paragraphs explaining that hey guys, if you squeeze two Meyer lemons into a glass and then top it up with San Pellegrino, it's really good, but I did, and so here we are. Next, please allow me to tell you about this really cool thing I have invented. IT IS CALLED THE WHEEL.
(PS: If your culinary prowess goes above and beyond squeezing some lemons into a glass and adding water—well, now you're just showing off!—you could instead use your Meyer lemons to make this incredible cake, which I did last night and found utterly delicious. Two thumbs up! Actually, one thumb up, because the other hand is shoveling cake into my mouth while I type.)