We love lemon!

2 Sep

As a Mediterranean country, citrus grows well here.  So it’s not surprising to find a lot of lemon used in beverages here, and a bit in the cuisine as well.  Lemons are cheap and are often sold in 1-kilo bags (usually 8-10 lemons, depending on their size).

It didn’t take much time for us to find many uses for them.  It started when we were looking for a cheap & easy 3-ingredient drink to serve with Bartendro for Barcelona’s first Mini-Maker faire.  Although we love making mudslides, it requires two rather expensive ingredients in relatively large proportions: Bailey’s and Tia Maria/Kahlua.  After serving mudslides at one of the first events where Bartendro made an appearance, we decided to select a beverage that is easier on the pocketbook. Looking through the menu of beverages, we realized that a good Lemon Drop is pretty cheap and easy: fresh-squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup (which we can also make at home cheaply), and vodka.

Then a couple weeks ago, we started a low-carb diet.  During the peak heat of summer, we were in search of a sugar-free alternative to Emergen-C to maintain our electrolytes.  Electrolytes are just dissolved forms of sodium and potassium in roughly equal proportions.  So it made complete sense when Rob ran across a really simple recipe: lemon juice, salt, and water.   Lemons have potassium and Vitamin C, and of course table salt has sodium.  Voilà!

The idea of drinking something so salty and sour took a bit of time to warm up to, but I discovered that the taste of the electrolytes will tell me whether I need them or not.  If it tastes good, then I need it; time to drink more!  If it tastes too salty, then I probably don’t need it.  This is a good rule of thumb that is useful when in the desert as well for Nowhere/Burning Man.

We also are experimenting with using lemon rinds as insect repellent, both for mosquitoes and moths.  Since we have no shortage of lemon rinds with all the lemons we’re consuming, I’ve been putting them out on the terrace to dry out in the sunshine. Once they’re dry, I bring them back inside and put them in mesh bags to hang in our closet and by the windows to keep the bugs out.  The verdict is still out on whether this is helping or not, but it certainly smells nice.juicer

Lately, we’ve been enjoying gin & tonics with local gin we brought back from Menorca; a piece lemon peel in the glass gives it a refreshing aroma, perfect for a summer afternoon.  We recently read that lemon rind is also good in cold-brew coffee!  That’s next on our list to try.

With all the lemon squeezing we’ve been doing, we realized it was time to upgrade to an electric juicer.  They sell a simple one at the local Carrefour (similar to Target) for only 10€ which has been serving us well.

Long live the lemon!

6 Responses to “We love lemon!”

  1. Chris Collins 2013/09/04 at 21:25 #

    After the death of Google Reader I’ve lost contact with all my bloggers. So sad. So one by one I’m reconnecting.

    Love me some gin and tonic with fresh lemon.

    Weather report? Barcelona in Summer: Paso Robles or Miami?

  2. mayhem 2013/09/05 at 05:06 #

    Chris: Its in between and its not quite sure which one it should be. It depends on the wind direction, but we’re not quite certain of that yet. But its never as bad as either of those two, but somewhere in the middle. :)

  3. zenkat 2013/09/05 at 10:32 #

    This is my new favorite lemon drink. Should be perfect for a hot summer day in Barcelona!

    Mr. Pimm’s Saturday Afternoon Affair

    1 lemon
    1/2oz Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
    1/4oz Cointreau
    1 oz vodka
    2 shakes Fee’s West Indies Orange Bitters
    2 shakes Angostura Bitters
    Bundaberg Ginger Beer


    Squeeze lemon in a shaker over ice. Add all other ingredients to shaker except ginger beer. Shake well and strain into a highball glass with four ice cubes. Top with ginger beer.


    • Aleta 2013/09/08 at 07:30 #

      That sounds like a fantastic drink! We’ll have to pick up Pimm’s and orange bitters next time we’re in London to try this. I’ve also never tried Pimm’s, it’s long overdue!

  4. Chris Collins 2013/09/07 at 20:32 #

    I’d like your opinion. As a non European traveler should I go for the hell of it. A new airlines is offering in may 2014. Oakland to Oslo, $259.00 each way. I am thinking of going just cause I can’t pass up a bargin. Would a week in Oslo wandering around suck?

    • Aleta 2013/09/08 at 07:23 #

      Hi Chris – that sounds like a fantastic deal, however Oslo is one of the most expensive cities for European travel. Transportation, food, and lodging are all going to be quite pricey, so if you’re on a tight budget, Oslo is not a good place to visit. Generally, the further South/East you go in Europe, the cheaper it gets.

      We just posted a new page on the blog with lots of tips for folks thinking about visiting Europe, including how to find cheap flights – take a look! http://bcnftw.es/bcn-or-bust/tips-for-travel-to-europe/