Meyer Lemon Margarita

Growing up, my grandmother had a lemon tree in her backyard, and it was the greatest thing ever. She lived in California, you know, clear across the damn country, so I didn't get to see her very often. By some crazy luck, whenever we flew out to visit, her lemon tree would be full and ready for picking. I just thought it was so awesome, having your very own lemon tree! I guess I didn't realize you could have your own lemon tree. Living in the northeast, that wasn't really a possibility, so the fact that she just had one in her backyard, like nbd, totally blew my mind. Anyway, we would make pitchers and pitchers of lemonade, and it was the best lemonade I had ever had.

It wasn't until I was much older that I finally realized why the lemonade tasted so special. Her tree was no ordinary lemon tree, it was a meyer lemon tree.

Meyer lemons are originally from China, and thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. As a result, they are incredibly fragrant and just a touch sweeter than your average lemon. The aromas and flavors are intensely floral with a hint of herbs and spice.

Meyer lemons are very distinct and intoxicating, so if you've ever had one, you likely won't forget it. I certainly never did. Every time I encounter a meyer lemon, I instantly feel the same joy and wonder that I felt the first time I picked fresh lemons from my grandmother's tree.

As an adult, I wanted to translate that joy and wonder into a more age appropriate beverage. I think I accomplished that with this recipe for a meyer lemon margarita.

Ingredients

Preparation

  1. Prepare margarita glass by wetting the rim with lemon juice, and dipping into lemon sugar.**
  2. Fill mixing glass with ice.
  3. Pour in all ingredients.
  4. Shake mixture vigorously until shaking can frosts over.
  5. Strain mixture into prepared margarita glass.
  6. Garnish with lemon twist.

**To make lemon sugar, mix finely ground lemon zest with granulated sugar.

I normally drink my margaritas with a salted rim, but I prefer sugar with this one because the meyer lemon juice is quite tart, and there is no additional sweetness besides the elderflower liqueur, which helps to really bring out the floral notes of the meyer lemon.