I've incorporated a lot of France into my life, but there are just a few things that really put me at a sidewalk café, mid-afternoon, for a pause and some people-watching. One of them is citron pressé.
Some say citron pressé is just a fancy French name for lemonade, but, I disagree. Citron pressé is made to order, by the glass rather than the pitcher. Order this drink at any café in France, and the waiter will bring you a tall glass filled with ice and the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. Alongside your glass you'll receive a carafe of cold water, and one--maybe two--sugars. You adjust the water and sugar to taste.
The first time I had citron pressé was in Annecy. We had spent the afternoon walking around the old city and it was time for a pause. I don't remember what I ordered, but my sister ordered a citron pressé and I was immediately intrigued (especially by her expert pronunciation!) She let me taste it and everyone was amused by my reaction to this tart drink!
Because it is so tart, you have to sip a citron pressé, which makes the taste, and the pause, last that much longer. Try the recipe below and see if you don't agree.
4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Pitcher of chilled water
Put a small amount of ice into 2 glasses
Pour 2 oz lemon juice into each glass
Add water and stir in sugar to taste
Makes 2 servings.