Spring is in sight, but the days are still dreary and cold. However, one of the bright spots of winter is the abundance of fresh citrus. In addition to the usual suspects — lemons, limes and oranges — this time of year is also one to savor blood oranges, mandarins and Meyer lemons.
Mix fresh citrus juice and alcohol for a perfect cocktail. Here are three to sip while looking forward to the warmer days ahead.
Blood Orange Bellini
The classic bellini is made of white peach puree and prosecco, that cheaper, tastier Italian cousin of the snooty French Champagne. This twist uses fresh blood orange juice and makes for a beautiful drink.
1 oz. blood orange juice
1/2 oz. peach schnapps (preferably Peachtree)
Prosecco to fill
Place orange juice and peach schnapps in champagne flute. Top with prosecco. Garnish with a blood orange wedge if you wish.
1.5 oz. white rum (preferably Cruzan)
1 oz. fresh satsuma mandarin or clementine juice
.5 oz. fresh lime juice
.5 oz. ginger syrup (recipe follows)
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (rimmed with sugar, if you desire). Float a thin mandarin slice on top of drink.
Ginger syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup water, sliced ginger (one small nob should work), the zest of one mandarin, a few green cardamom pods and one cinnamon stick. Heat on medium-low until sugar dissolves. Turn heat down to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain, bottle and store in the refrigerator.
Triple Lemon Drop
If you like lemon and you like alcohol, this drink is for you. You can substitute regular lemon juice for the Meyer lemon, but try the latter if you can find it (it’s actually a cross between a traditional lemon and mandarins).
1.5 oz. lemon vodka
1 oz. Meyer lemon juice
1 oz. limoncello
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (rimmed with sugar, if you desire). Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Colin Powers is a Madison, Wisconsin-based editor and graphic designer. He has more than a dozen years of newspaper experience, including a stint as Life and Arts Editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer before its demise last March.