Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When Life Hands you Lemons…Add Alcohol!

Before I even moved to Florida, I had a lemon tree.  Well, to be exact it’s a Meyer lemon tree.  My next door neighbor in CT had one she kept in a pot and it actually produced lemons so when I learned that I could buy the same type tree from Williams-Sonoma, I ordered one right away.  I kept it in the house during the winter and on our deck during the summer.  When I found out we’d be moving to FL, I was thrilled that I would be able to plant the little tree in the ground and it would have a chance to grow into a REAL tree.  So, imagine my disappointment when all the leaves fell off it the second we got here.  Luckily, that was only a minor setback.  The leaves grew back and the tree is now in the ground.  We had started to think that it would never produce any lemons but lo and behold, we have about 10 of them on there right now waiting to ripen.  We still have a ways to wait but that hasn’t stopped me from finding new cocktails that I can eventually make with lemon juice from lemons grown right in my own yard.

My go-to lemon drink is the Lemon Drop martini.  I know some people prefer the lemon drop shot but, well, I’m not into shots the way I used to be so I like the drink better.  This drink does pack a punch though so drink with caution. And for heaven’s sake, ONLY use fresh lemon juice…none of that bottled crap!

Lemon Drop Martini

3 oz. vodka (or lemon vodka…homemade is best)
1 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. fresh lemon juice(I lemon)
¼ oz. Cointreau
1 slice of lemon

Rim a chilled martini glass with sugar.  Combine the vodka, simple syrup and Cointreau in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain into the rimmed glass and garnish with the lemon slice.

Another popular drink that uses lemon juice is the Bloody Mary.   But I prefer the Mexican version of that drink…the Bloody Maria which uses tequila in place of vodka.  Some versions call for lime juice rather than lemon juice the version I like uses lemon juice.

Bloody Maria

1.5 oz. tequila (I like blanco)
6 dashes of Tabasco (more or less to taste…I like mine SPICY)
6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch of celery salt
1 pinch of pepper
1 tsp. horseradish
2 tsp. lemon juice
7 oz. tomato juice

Rim old fashioned glass with lemon juice and dip into a back pepper (or you can use celery salt).  Build ingredients and stir with a bar-spoon.   Garnish with thin strips of celery.

This last drink is one I haven’t had in a while but I need to add it to my list of things to make this summer.  I’ll be honest, I like the name more than the drink itself!

Between The Sheets

3/4 oz. brandy
4 oz. light rum
3/4 oz. triple sec
1/2 oz. lemon juice
Lemon twist for garnish

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.  Shake well.   Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the lemon twist.

So there you have it…when life hands you lemons, add some alcohol and make yourself a drink!