Sirop de Citron

March 22, 2010

Being the truly dedicated barfly I am, I tend to ask my bartenders what new, exciting flavors they’re looking to play with.  While sirop de citron was not the first request, it is the first I will write about (though with every intention of tending to the others at a later date).

The first thing you will probably notice if you google ‘sirop de citron’ is that -no shock here- most of the write-ups are in French.  Lucky for me, I studied French oh so many years ago, and internet translators could fill in the rest.  The second thing you will notice is more of a problem – not one recipe coincides.  Sure, they all have lemon and sugar, but some call for water; some call for boiling, others don’t; some demand peeling and juicing, others like slicing better.  So what to do?  Reduce every recipe down to 1 lemon : sugar : water ratios and see who’s the most dissimilar of course.

Recipe 1:

1 lemon : 200g sugar : unknown quantity of water

Thinly slice the lemon and macerate with sugar for 2-3 days, then bring the mixture to a simmer, strain, and add water.

Thanks to Erik Ellestad for this one – it’s basically the same, though I have to admit I’m a bit discontent with the thought of adding an unknown quantity of water to my yield,  so I hope to nail down a tolerable ratio here.

Recipe 2:

1 lemon : 133g sugar

Thinly slice the lemon and macerate with sugar for 3-4 days, then boil the mixture for 5 minutes, strain.

This is a recipe from the French Pause Cuisine.  Less sugar, more cooking, and no water, but otherwise pretty similar.

Recipe 3:

1 lemon : 94g sugar : 31mL water

Peel the lemon, combine with sugar and water and boil mixture for 5 minutes.  Add the juice from the lemon, then macerate for several days and strain.

This recipe from the French Atelier Naturel avoids using the pith of the lemon, which should yield a less bitter syrup, but the cost is a complex process (and a sticky mess dealing with a 3:1 sugar syrup).

Only one of the recipes specifies stirring the lemons and juice, however, I plan on doing this every day for all three mixtures.  I will let all of them macerate 3 days, then compare sweetness, bitterness, strength of flavor, and cooked flavor to see what comes out on top.

One Response to “Sirop de Citron”

  1. Really? Someone else is thinking about Sirop-de-Citron? Awesome! Well, it is very tasty.

    If I had to estimate on the water, I would say it was around half a cup.

    That’s some serious pith on those lemons!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: