Related to How would you use a lot of lemons?, but at the opposite scale:

I have a recipe that needs 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, so I've zested several areas of skin off this lemon and I'm not sure what I can usefully do with the rest.

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    Put it in the fridge and use it next time you require lemon juice. Since you have removed part of the zest, it is only going to last a couple of days. Unfortunately "how do I use" common ingredients are off topic as there are a myriad answers. – SAJ14SAJ Apr 6 '14 at 22:59
  • The question of how to save it for later is reasonable though. (The answers are pretty obvious but that doesn't stop us.) – Cascabel Apr 6 '14 at 23:58
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    Zest, lemon, lime or orange freezes nicely, so do the whole lemon, and put the excess in a spice jar in your freezer, for next time. If you immediately juice the lemon, that'll last for some weeks in your fridge before going bad. The juice has a low enough pH to be unfriendly to most agents of spoilage. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 7 '14 at 0:55
  • If you try to save naked lemons (ie, those without zest) in the fridge, you can put them in a plastic bag so they don't dry out, but you still only have a few days, as it can go moldy on you. – Joe Apr 7 '14 at 13:14
  • @Jefromi I'm afraid I really only care about ways to use the leftover lemon here. – Ed Brannin Apr 8 '14 at 12:28

I typically juice it and put it in a drink. You can make a simple Lemon Drop Martini with lemon juice, vodka and simple syrup. Whenever I bake a Dominican cake, I always have leftover lemons (and lemon zest).


2oz fresh lemon juice
2oz vodka (Stolichnaya preferred. Smirnoff is too plain tasting)
2oz simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water)

Cool down the simple syrup to about room temperature, mix all three ingredients and stir until mixed.

To serve, make a paste with kosher salt, simple syrup and lemon juice, then line the rim of the serving glass (a martini/cocktail glass) with the paste. Pour in the drink either plain or on the rocks / over ice.


If you have leftover lemon zest, you can make lemon pepper, which goes great with chicken or fish. To make homemade lemon pepper, put equal parts of lemon zest and ground black pepper, mix and bake flat for a few minutes. I tend to do:

1   tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
2   tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix in a small bowl, then lay flat on a baking sheet and bake at 350 (preheated) for 10 to 15 minutes. When done, let it air cool and save in an airtight container. To use, rub it into chicken or fish.

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