When life gives you lemons, I guess make lemonade. When your friend gives you fresh Meyer lemons from their garden you should do something better, probably.
Meyer lemons are native to China and are thought to be a cross between oranges and lemons. They are sweeter than run of the mill lemons and have a depth of flavor that is citrusy with pronounced herbal and floral notes. The skin is thinner and softer, and the fruit is incredibly juicy. The subdued tartness and complexity of flavor makes the Meyer lemon perfect for espresso Romano.
Espresso Romano (Roman espresso) is espresso with a twist of lemon zest and a little lemon juice. Awkwardly, it is actually not done in Rome (or Italy) at all. I asked several of my Italian friends from various parts of Italy and none of them had ever heard of it. The closest thing I found in Italy was moretta fanese which is a coffee based drink that features the lemon twist but aso anise, rum, and brandy. My friend Marco says this is a drink for sailors and seemed to think I'm too much of a featherweight to drink it. He's probably right.
Preparing espresso Romano is pretty simple. Pull a shot or two of espresso (use a moka pot if you don't have an espresso machine) and serve with a twist of Meyer lemon and sugar. You can also squeeze a bit of the lemon juice into the demitasse and rub a bit around the rim. That little bit of lemon adds brightness to the espresso and softens the bitterness somewhat. It also looks classy. So sit back, enjoy a break in the afternoon, and enjoy.
Serve with Perrier sparking water
Pair with Unstoppable, Lianne La Havas