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July 3, 2010

Paris in July: Citron pressé

The French have a 'make-it-yourself' type of lemonade. At any cafe in France, if you order a citron pressé, a waiter will appear with a tall glass partially filled with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a shaker of sugar, a pitcher of water, and a spoon. You then make your own lemonade, adjusting the sweetness and tartness to your own individual taste. The following recipe for a single citron pressé calls for sparkling water, but you can use plain water if you like.
Juice one large lemon and strain the juice into a tall glass. Stir 2 teaspoons sugar (more if you like) into the lemon juice. Fill the glass with ice cubes, then with sparkling water. Taste and add more sugar if desired.

-- from The Big Book of Backyard Cooking, by Betty Rosbottom

I don't think I ever tried a citron pressé in Paris, but as I was there in late March it wasn't lemonade season. This week will be, though (and I've heard it's hot in Paris, too, so it will be easier for us to feel like we're there).

Oh, that's good! More tart and puckery than American lemonade, even with a couple of teaspoons of sugar, and tres rafraichissant, especially with sparkling water.


Amy DeTrempe said...

Yum, that sounds like the perfect drink for the hot days of July where I am at.

Tamara said...

I just love how the simplest of things can be made so elegant in France. I've had one of these in France and at first I was very confused, but then I got into it. Beautiful.

Thank you for visiting!

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