I'm really into making soda these days. Now that the weather's heating up a little, it's nice to drink something cold and carbonated that's also not overly sweet. And making homemade flavored syrup is one of those stupidly simple things that makes you feel really clever.
I saw a pile of gorgeously golden Meyer lemons at the store a few weekends ago and after a little internal debate, I let myself buy three. These lemons aren't cheap, and I always feel pressure to use every bit of fruit, rind, and zest to make something where their bright, perfumey essence really shines. Maybe I will be lucky enough to have a Meyer lemon tree growing in the imaginary yard in the imaginary house I will have someday, but until then, I've got to suck every last bit of juice out of these babies. I didn't really feel like baking or making lemon curd, or making anything especially time-consuming or difficult. But they also won't be around much longer, and I wanted to enjoy just a few before they disappear.
It was a hot day, so I thought about making lemonade. Or better yet, Meyer lemon soda, which seemed a tad more special (and truthfully, would allow me to stretch out the lemony goodness just a little bit more). I grabbed a bottle of soda water and that was that.
Meyer lemon soda
If you can't get your hands on Meyer lemons, or they are out of season, regular lemons will definitely work. I'm not a lemon snob. But a combo of grapefruit and lemons will create a closer approximation of the Meyer lemon flavor.
(Makes about 3 cups syrup)
2 Meyer lemons, washed, cut in half, and de-seeded (Or substitute 1 small grapefruit and 1 lemon)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and stir until combined. Put the pan over medium-high heat. Add the lemons, squeezing the juice into the sugar-water mixture (scoop out any stray pits). Place the squeezed-out lemon rinds into the mixture. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes and steep. After 20 minutes, remove the lemon rinds. Store the syrup in a jar.
To make soda: fill a drinking glass about halfway with syrup. Add ice and cold soda water and stir. Taste to make sure it's flavorful enough, adjust with extra syrup if needed.