I had not planned to make this a boozy post. In fact, what kind of crazy person posts a lemonade recipe in January? Especially one living in Alaska. A few weeks ago I was looking for Mango Lassi recipes, and I found this one for lemonade on the opposite page. I loved the idea of using both kaffir limes and meyer lemons. It was the day after my Meyer Lemons had been shipped from The Lemon Ladies in California. Karen often includes some extra treats in my lemon box. I went to visit her a few years ago and fell in love with the scent of her Bay tree, so I often find bay leaves tucked into my box of lemons. Every once in a while she sends other little treats from her garden as well. Sometimes when I have a craving to make curry at home I will ask her to include some kaffir lime leaves. This last time I didn't have anything in mind that I wanted to make soon, so I didn't ask. Wouldn't you know it, the very next day I found this drink recipe. Karen must have read my mind, because when my box arrived it had plenty of Kaffir Lime leaves along with my beautiful Meyer Lemons. I was thrilled.
I made sure to pick up some soda water on my trip to the grocery store, and then went to work on the lime syrup. I couldn't resist adding a few lime leaves to the syrup bottle. As I set the bottle in the fridge to cool I realized I hadn't bought soda water, but tonic. I had wanted to try the recipe out, so I went ahead and made it with the tonic. It was really quite good, almost tasted like it already had gin in it. I couldn't resist adding a little gin to the drink. This is definitely my new gin and tonic. The next trip to the grocery store, I bought the soda water and it too made the tasty and refreshing beverage you see in these photos and find the recipe for below. If you are a fan of gin and tonics I highly recommend you give the boozy version a try. Just add a shot of gin and swap out the club soda for tonic water.
adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
10 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 cup fresh meyer lemon juice
2 cups chilled club soda
Combine the water, sugar, and lime leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then remove the lime leaves and pour into a covered container, place in the refrigerator until cold. Lime syrup will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator. You will have enough syrup for about 8 drinks.
Fill two tall glasses with ice. In each glass pour about 1/4 cup of the lime syrup into the glass, and add 1/4 cup of meyer lemon juice. Adjust these amounts depending on how sweet/sour you prefer your drink. Top with club soda and stir. Makes two drinks.