Citron Pressé in Florida

When I waited tables at the Café Rouge in England for a summer I fell in love with a simple French drink from their menu, the Citron Pressé. Now that I live in Florida, I can get my hands on freshly picked lemons and there’s nothing I like more to sit at a table sipping on this refreshing drink.

One night last week my mom posted on Facebook that she and my dad were cozily waiting out the blizzard that was blowing through Manitoba. I woke the next morning imagining snow on the ground. I looked out the window at lush palm trees with a bright blue backdrop and felt lost. I plastered a smile on my face and went upstairs to get my toddler ready for the day. I asked, “What do you want to do today?” He said, “Go to the park, Mommy!” And why not? It is *sigh* 82 degrees out there after all.

Swings, slides, sand (lots of digging) and a couple of hours later, J and I were walking home from the park singing our ABCs. From behind a hedge I heard, “Who’s doing such nice singing?” J pointed and shouted (very very loudly), “Wook Mommy! A wady!” There was a woman in her yard gardening. She chuckled, “A boy with such a nice voice deserves an orange. Come around back and I’ll give you one.” J ran to her and began happily plucking oranges from her tree (never mind that we have about a million on our own trees at home). She then asked J, “Do you like lemonade?” He nodded his head vigorously. “If I give your Mommy some lemons, will she make you some?” We both nodded our heads vigorously.

As we watched her picking round bumpy lemons from her tree I thought, “I wish we had a lemon tree…oh wait, we do have one…but its lemons are small and seedy and taste bitter and …OH MY GOD…they definitely don’t smell like this…would it be weird to bite through the peel and eat the whole thing here in her yard? What if I just stand here holding it up to my nose while breathing deeply?”

Lemons for Citron Pressé (Squeezed Lemonade)


After many thank yous we headed home for lunch. Once there J insisted that he didn’t want any lemonade. After all, if life gives you oranges shouldn’t your mom make you orange juice?  (How he’s not sick of the stuff by now, I don’t understand). I, on the other hand, had been given lemons and when life gives me lemons I make Citron Pressé.

We drank our citrus beverages with our PB&J sandwiches. I imagined myself away to a café in Paris. J imagined himself to a construction site where his hand was the scoop on a digger truck sent to pick up pieces of sandwich and deliver them to the floor. I don’t know why we were both intent on being away from the present moment. Really, how much better could it be than to live in a place where life hands you lemons and you get to make (and drink) lemonade (or citron pressé or orange juice)? Maybe a place that hands you lemons is as good as one that covers you in snow. Maybe.

What is Citron Pressé?

Citron Pressé means “squeezed lemon” and is really just deconstructed lemonade. I prefer it to lemonade because each person is able to adjust the sweetness and tartness to their own taste (I make mine really really sour). This is possible because each component is served separately.

Easy directions for making the best Citron Pressé, a classic French drink of fresh lemon juice, water and sugar syrup.


Another advantage of citron pressé is that you can easily make a single glass of it for yourself without having to mix up a whole jug. Just squeeze lemon juice into a glass, add some ice cubes, squirt in some sweetener and top off with water.

If you like the idea of this cold refreshing drink, you might also like this recipe for Gin and Tonic with Watermelon.

Gin and Tonic with Fresh Watermelon


And now, here’s my basic Citron Pressé Recipe:

Citron Pressé

Citron Presse is a deconstructed lemonade meaning that you serve the lemon juice, water and sweetening ingredients separately and everyone mixes their own drink to their liking at the table.


  • 5 lemons, divided
  • 1 cup simple syrup or agave nectar
  • ice
  • cold water


  1. Squeeze the juice from 4 of the lemons. Pour the juice into a small jug. Slice the fifth lemon and place the slices on a plate.
  2. Put the simple syrup or agave in a jug.
  3. Fill a large jug with ice and top with cold water.
  4. Take the jug of lemon juice, of syrup and of water to the table along with 4 glasses and 4 spoons.
  5. Allow everyone to mix their own drink to their desired sweet and sourness.

10 Responses to “Citron Pressé in Florida”

  1. Dani — January 19, 2011 @ 8:23 pm (#)

    When we’re in central FL visiting my parents, the highlight for my kids (aside from the golf cart) is picking oranges. Disney? Who needs that when you can make your own juice! Anyway, I really enjoy the tone of your blog. It’s always all about the story for me.

    • cookthestory — January 19, 2011 @ 9:42 pm (#)

      Yes, the juice here is fantastic. With the cold weather snaps we’ve been having, my favorite thing has been going out in the morning and picking oranges to squeeze immediately, while their juice is still cold. Nothing better.

      I’m so happy that you like my blog. Thank you.

  2. Audrey — January 14, 2011 @ 8:22 pm (#)

    Do you like the light or dark Agave nectar?

  3. cookthestory — January 3, 2011 @ 8:51 am (#)

    I didn’t know it could happen either. I was like, “WHAT is THAT???” But it was the best lemon I’ve ever smelled or tasted. Thanks for visiting :).

  4. jenna laughs — January 3, 2011 @ 8:46 am (#)

    Lovely drink! Those bumpy lemons are out of control. I didn’t even know that could happen?? Thank you for your visit to my blog! Looking forward to sharing recipes :)


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