Some time back in the early 2000s I spent my summer holidays in Frejus near St Tropez. Aged early twenty something I fell hopelessly en amour with the boulevards of tenderly shaped lime trees and gentle clack of boules being played on the gravel stretches in between.
One sunny afternoon I found myself in a lovely café watching all this going on around me and thirsty from the walk into town I overheard some French ladies ordering a citron pressé and thought I’d give it a try. I had never tried a citron pressé before and was taken aback by the sharpness and sweetness all in one. In fact make that totally blown away by the sourness followed by the sweet kiss of sugar at the end for good measure. A citron pressé is a fabulous summer drinks idea for all the family but you don’t actually have to add sugar. The juice alone makes an excellent sugar free mock tail. The citron pressé is for me the epitome of simple French style and I just love them!
If you’re a citron pressé virgin as it were, it’s a bit like a homemade lemonade only sans sucre but is almost always served with a little bowl of sugar on the side, that way you can take it as sweet or sour as you want. I like mine without and if you follow this recipe adding limes it gives it a gentle sweetness anyway. It’s a great way to get some fluids in first thing or a welcome alcohol free cocktail to serve guests on a blazing hot day for summer drinks. Careful though, if you make it too tart it can get a slugglish tummy working quick sharpish! Even better as a chaser to your espresso coffee mid morning – and just think of all that Vitamin C!
So, here’s a little how to recipe for making your own citron vert pressé.
Allez – here’s what you’ll need.
Sugar…if not making sugar free!
And that is it!
Simply squeeze the juice of each fruit into a jug and mix up with a spoon. Wet the top of 2 pretty glasses with water on your finger then roll the glass rims in sugar or zest if sugar free. Pour the fruit juice over lots and lots of ice – I add lemon pieces to the ice before freezing to make it look super jolie. Then top up the glass with water and serve with a bowl of sugar. I also like to add verbena or lemon balm leaves for decoration.