Preserved Lemons

I have this bottle of preserved lemon syrup that I've been using in cocktails, and it is really, really yummy.  I use it in any drink that calls for simple syrup (this week's favorite - the Tom Collins) - it gives just a nice little bit of extra flavor. But the price tag is not so yummy. Since I think this needs to be a key ingredient in my summer cocktails, I figured I'd better try making my own. So it starts with preserved lemons, and then in a few weeks I will try making the syrup. I read several different methods for making preserved lemons, so I just went with the one that sounded the simplest for me. Here's what I did:

  • Washed organic lemons
  • Cut both ends off and then cut into quarters.
  • Dip one side of each quarter in coarse salt (I used kosher salt).
  • Put into a clean glass jar.
  • Press down as you go to squeeze out the juice, so the lemons are covered in juice.
  • Keep adding salted lemons and pressing down until the jar is full.  (this was a quart size jar, and filled perfectly with 5 large lemons)

Many of the recipes call for some extra squeezed juice to fully cover your lemons in the jar, but the lemons I got were super juicy and were fully covered with their own juices already, so that step wasn't necessary for me.  So now I will let it sit on the counter and shake daily to distribute the salt, for about a week.  Then refrigerate for a couple more weeks before using.

I'll keep you posted on how they turn out.  (and now I have this nice little plate of leftover lemony salt that I'm going to have to go put on something, maybe tonight's chicken...)