Citrus liqueurs do conjure up ideas of Summer but citrus mixers are not just for those hot summer days and nights. The vitamin C kick may even prove beneficial for those cold winter months. With the wide variety of organic fruit on offer these days, its best to go with this pesticide and chemical free option. The combination of bitter and sweet with the alcohol is so hypnotic that you probably can’t stop at one.
This post on the NYTimes.com website provides some interesting recipes for citrus mixers:
The formula for widely available citrus-flavored liqueur involves alcohol that is distilled three times (Cognac, brandy or eau de vie) and flavored with citrus peels (usually orange) that have been dried outdoors. If you’re a city dweller without wooden drying racks or the Mediterranean sun, you can start your liqueur by infusing the peel in a flavored simple syrup, and adding vodka to stabilize the mix. The recipe here provides the essentials (ratios and techniques) with permission to make the infusion your own.
Blood oranges make a jewel-like, rose-colored infusion that cozies up to tequila and lime juice. A Valencia is nature’s version of an orange Crayola Crayon; its complex sweet and bitter flavor produces a heady liqueur. Try it mixed with rum and coconut.
Meyer lemon is distinctly herbal. Paired with rosemary or thyme, it makes a sprightly basis for a vodka drink, served ice cold with a splash of seltzer. Grapefruit and gin are the best of friends, so they are a sensational start to a pale pink Salty Dog. Whatever the fruit, organic varieties are a good choice because the rind is essential to this preparation, and a pesticide-free rind is certainly better than the alternative.
The best idea though is to experiment and develop your favourite tastes. Especially as we approach Christmas, a bottle of citrus liqueur could be the perfect gift.
Here are a few more citrus cocktail recipes that can spice up your cocktail menu.
- Orange Juice
Just mix orange juice and vodka and garnish with some blood oranges for aesthetic appeal.
- Grapefruit Juice
- Vodka (or Gin)
Combine the 2 ingredients and rim the glass with salt, Margarita-style, delicious!
Whiskey or Bourbon Sour
- Lemon juice
- Bourbon or Whiskey
- Simple Syrup
Optional garnish: maraschino cherry and/or half wheel of orange.
- Lemon Juice
- Simple Syrup
This one works very well with citrus-flavoured vodka, but plain vodka will also work well. Optional garnish: lemon twist or wedge and a sugar-rimmed glass.
- Lime Juice
- White Rum
- Simple Syrup
This is a Caribbean classic. Mix all the ingredients together and garnish with an optional garnish of lime twist or wedge.
Garnish these beautiful drinks with a classic citrus garnish like a wedge, a spiral peel, wheel or slice of citrus fruit to echo the taste already in the cocktail and give guests an idea of what ingredients to expect in the drink. I find the best method is to experiment and find out the best combinations for yourself.