When Life Gives You Meyer Lemons – Make Vodka
I’m a little obsessive about produce, so when meyer lemons appear on the shelves I throw a little party in my head. Their season is incredibly short which makes them all the more special. This year I was so happy to see them that I snapped up three huge packages – way too many. (I know – WTH? They’re not shoes that at least come in different colors.) I got home and placed them on the counter so I could admire them every time I walked by and soak up their fresh, hopeful scent. And then boom – I saw a soft spot. I was still in food-shopper-fetish mode and they were already starting to rot. I hadn’t even eaten any. Ugh. But like most things concerning food, the answer was simple. Preserve them. And move quickly before any of the others start to turn. I was desperate so I turned to alcohol (ha, ha) and it was surprisingly easy. I just sliced them up and covered them with vodka. That’s it. And just like that I had way too much meyer lemon vodka.
Now, it really isn’t a problem to have so much of a good thing, but when I say a lot I mean A LOT. So I started sharing. For a while, meyer lemon vodka was my go-to food gift. I brought some to a last-minute gathering of girlfriends who convened to parse an extra crappy day. (No, we didn’t do shots. We sipped. It was a Wednesday.) A few weeks later, the snow fell and fell and fell. After the neighbors boldy banded together to cross the street, we busted it out with some Aranciata. (We do not mess around when it comes to soda.) And just this weekend I found myself with no time (or butter) to bake for an early brunch so I brought some meyer lemon vodka instead. It was a 2 year-old’s birthday party with an army of toddlers in full swing stashing juice boxes and half-eaten bagels around the house. It was a much appreciated hostess gift. And then, just like that, my meyer lemon vodka was gone.
While I was busy giving it all away, the meyer lemons had also disappeared from the store shelves. The season ended while I wasn’t looking. I’d have to wait another year. Then I realized that meyer lemons are just the beginning, a kind of mid-winter harbinger of all the amazing fruit about to come in season. I’m inspired to move on to strawberries, peaches, plums, fresh herbs, whatever. It’s just too easy to do. And there will always be an occasion that calls for the gift of home-flavored vodka. Because that’s just how life is – it happens.
- 1 quart jar with a lid
- 1 cup fruit (or more)
- 1 bottle of vodka (you'll have some leftover)
- Slice lemons.
- Place in jar.
- Top with vodka. Tighten lid and place jar in a corner away from direct sunlight.
- Wait a day and start tasting. Flavor will deepen the longer it sits, but it’s pretty good after 24 hours if you’re in a rush.
- Strain into a nice jar and wrap it up.