Quick Bites from Pender

Preserved Lemon Simple Syrup

In Recipes on May 27, 2010 at 5:01 am


You may remember back in February when I happened across a bounty of organic Meyer lemons, sweet limes and tangerines — not an everyday find in our little island’s grocery store — giggling with glee, I picked through the pile, sliced & packed them with salt,  and stuffed them into jars.

Six weeks later, we had our first taste of my salt-cured citrus.  Since then, we’ve minced the intensely flavoured peel into almost every meal.

It took me until last week to find the sweet side of salt preservation — too long, I know — but life isn’t about regrets.  And besides, who can bemoan the final result?  From an unexpected treasure trove of lemons, we have a pot of sweet (and slightly salty) liquid gold. 


Preserved Lemon Simple Syrup

  • Peel from 1 Preserved Lemon, rinsed, dried and julienned
  • 1 cup Sugar

Process the peel and sugar with a steel blade for approx 2 minutes, until the sugar is yellow and texture of wet sand.

Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over med high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil 1 minute, then remove from the heat and cool.

Whether or not to strain?  A personal and aesthetic choice…I left the “bits” in, and then strained them out for our cocktails (see below).  I made lemonade with the unstrained syrup, and both Howard and I really liked the salty lemon specks at the bottom of our glasses.

Store, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  You won’t need long term storage though — just look at all the things we made with this new & magical concoction:

  • Moroccan Gin Fizz – 2 oz gin, 2 T lemon simple syrup, ice, club soda to taste
  • North African G&T – 2 oz gin, 1 T lemon simple syrup, ice, tonic water to taste
  • Salty Greek – 1.5 oz ouzo, 1 T salted lemon simple syrup, ice, 7-up to taste
  • Good Ol’ Fashioned Lemonade – lemon simple syrup, ice, sparkling or still water to taste
  • Sorbet – haven’t actually made this yet…the sleeve from the ice cream maker is in the freezer, waiting…
  • Slushies…slushies would be good too…I have those preserved limes…mojitos are like slushies, aren’t they?

Anyone else have any ideas?  A few shots from the deck while you brainstorm:


preserved-lemon-gin-fizz ouzo-preserved-lemon-soda

pender island deer



  1. What a great job with the lemons, I must try preserving some, yoiu make them sound delicious and great to have on hand…would love to try some of that lemonade in my sweet tea vodka!

  2. What an excellent post of great ideas for abundant lemons! Can’t wait until we start getting lemons again on our tree. How about a Lemon-Tini (instead of buying lemoncello use the preserved lemon-simple syrup!).

    • I can`t even imagine having a productive lemon tree — that sounds warm. sigh… what better way to cool off than with a Lemon-Tini — an excellent idea!

  3. Ok, so now I just need to find that same treasure trove of lemons, and then learn how to preserve them. 🙂 sounds awesome, and definitely something I need to try!

    • Preserving lemons is easy, and really worth the time! Once they`re cured, they can be used in almost anything. The limes and tangerines I preserved are also delicious.

  4. It’s great that you posted this. Just tasted a bit of preserved lemons a couple of days ago and felt that it was time to give it a try. The simple syrup is another great way to make use of it!

  5. I have made and LOVED the salt cured lemons but not the sweet. Tempting if for no other reason, only to make this lemon simple syrup!

  6. I have some vanilla simple syrup in the fridge, but THIS is something I’d use for everything.

  7. Wonderful post, love the drink ideas:)

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