sparkling refreshers, Lemon-Mint Spritzer


why lemons are good for you

sparkling refreshers

homemade preserved lemons and stocking stuffers

lemony lentil soup,braised chicken with lemon, citrusy angel food cake

a new spa skin-care line

Lemon Aid

Lemons deserve more respect than they get perched on the rim of a glass of club soda; they offer real health benefits. They're a good source of vitamin C (the juice of one lemon provides about half the recommended daily requirement), and they promote the absorption of calcium and iron from other foods (now, there's an incentive to squeeze some lemon on your spinach and broccoli). Like many fruits and vegetables, lemons contain powerful antioxidants that help protect against heart disease and cancer. Researchers have discovered that the pectin in whole lemons may help lower cholesterol, too—a good reason to spread lemon marmalade on your morning toast.

Zesty Gifts

Tins of Altoids Citrus Sours ($1.79; Lemon place mats from O.R.E. ($6 each; 212-755-9079). Dancing Deer's lemon pound cake with ricotta and coconut ($15; 888-699-DEER).

Beauty of Lemons

June Jacobs, cofounder of the Peter Thomas Roth skin-care line, has finally launched her own, June Jacobs Spa Collection. Instead of using synthetic oils, which can irritate skin, many of her products, such as the best-selling Citrus Clarifying Shampoo ($22 for 6.7 ounces), include lemon oil, a gentle botanical extract with healing properties. The lemon oil in the Fresh Squeezed Lemon Cleanser ($34 for 7 ounces) and Citrus Bath Salts ($44 for 18 ounces) cleanses skin and protects it from damage caused by pollution. Jacobs was so enamored with the fragrance she created Lemon-Citrus Eau de Toilette ($26 for 0.5 ounces). "It's such a clean scent——just strong enough to make you feel good," she says (800-586-3522).

—Jennifer Laing