Monday, January 08, 2007
Meyer Lemon Drop Martini
You slowly sidle up to the bar, resting your forearms on its smooth oak surface as you settle yourself onto a stool. Your shoulder lightly brushes against the attractive gentleman (or lady) on the stool beside you, as he greets you with an eager smile and a kiss on the cheek.
You lean back in your chair, languidly tossing your hair over your should and say, “What a day,” as your chest rises and falls with a gentle sigh.
Your companion motions for the bartender and asks what you’d like to drink.
“Lemon Drop,” you reply.
You anticipate the sensation of the cold, smooth liquid on your tongue as the bartender expertly prepares the cocktail. He slides the drink towards you, and you lift it to your lips as the moisture from the icy glass drips down the stem like sweat, wetting your fingertips. You pause, holding the rim of the glass centimeters from your lips and look up at your companion as the corners of your mouth curve into a sly smile, full of promise for the evening ahead.
Your eyes lock with his as you take a slow, full sip of your drink. Suddenly, you register the harsh, sour sting of the lemon juice. You hastily set the drink back down on the bar, spilling a sip or two with your clumsy movement. You scrunch up your nose, pushing your eyes into a squint as the acidic liquid burns the inside of your cheeks. You press your chin downward into your neck as you force yourself to swallow. You open your mouth and take a big breath and rub your watery eyes, leaving a black smear of eye makeup along your cheek.
“What’s wrong?” asks your bewildered companion.
“I didn't expect that drink to be so sour,” you answer.
“We can send it back,” your companion suggests helpfully.
“Good idea,” you say, as you smile sheepishly and order a beer.
Has this ever happened to you or to someone you care about? If this mood killing, awkward scenario could be prevented with one simple ingredient substitution, you’d do it right?
I’m happy to say that no one need suffer a painfully sour Lemon Drop Martini ever again thanks to the Meyer lemon. With pure lemon flavor, but none of the pucker, Meyers are perfect for a lemon cocktail. They are only in season during the winter months, so look for them now. If you can’t bear the sour bite of regular lemons, this drink is the answer you’ve been waiting for. Enjoy it after a long day with someone special.
Meyer Lemon Drop Martini
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living.
2 oz. simple syrup made with zest of 1 Meyer lemon (see below)
Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
3 oz. vodka
To make the simple syrup, combine 1 oz. water, 1 oz. sugar (measure in a cocktail jigger) and the lemon zest in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
In a cocktail shaker, combine a handful of ice, the lemon juice, vodka and simple syrup. Shake vigorously and strain into 2 chilled martini glasses.
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