Preserved lemon is a kitchen workhorse that easily moves to the bar. Here, it’s muddled with sugar and fresh lemon slices to release a light bitterness, harmonizing the sweet, the saline and the acidic. It appears once more, alongside olives and more fresh slices in the edible and fragrant garnish. While you can and should use both the preserved lemon rind and pulp (the pulp adds more welcome salinity and texture), use only the rind for the garnish. And, if you’d like to make this nonalcoholic drink alcoholic, add a splash of vodka, gin or, if you’re looking to triple down on the lemon flavors, limoncello.
Nonalcoholic Dirty Lemon Tonic
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped preserved lemon, store-bought or homemade
• 5 very thinly sliced fresh lemon wheels
• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 4 ounces dry tonic water, chilled
• Slice of preserved lemon rind, green olives (such as Castelvetrano or Manzanilla) and half wheel of lemon, for garnish
In the bottom of a sturdy rocks glass, add the preserved lemon, lemon wheels and sugar. Muddle until the sugar dissolves and the lemon wheels release their juices. Add the ice to the glass and top with tonic water.
Thread a skewer with a slice of preserved lemon rind, a few olives and a lemon half wheel; garnish.
Total time: 5 minutes, makes 1 drink.