And when we say simple, we mean simple. Each of these classic recipes uses just one kind of freshly-squeezed citrus fruit, and one kind of liquor (okay - and maybe a dash or two of plain old sugar to ease the pucker factor). That’s it.
Basic Template: These are the quickest and easiest drinks to put together, and their measurements are fairly forgiving. For each of these recipes, just mix an ounce and a half or so of the specified liquor with 3-6 ounces of the specified juice (depending how strong you like things) directly in an ice-filled highball glass.
Orange Juice + Vodka
For a colorful twist on this old classic, try using blood oranges.
Grapefruit Juice + Vodka (also works well with Gin)
A personal favorite. Rim the glass with salt, Margarita-style, and you have a Salty Dog.
Orange Juice + Amaretto
Some kickier recipes add vodka to the mix, but Amaretto and orange alone are quite smooth.
Rum and Orange
Orange Juice + Dark Rum
This one is a kind of streamlined Planter's Punch - which also calls for a blend of tropical juices and/or grenadine syrup and bitters - but just plain rum and orange can be a treat enough in itself.
These lemon and lime-based drinks all belong to the Sours Family of cocktails and include simple syrup (plain old granulated sugar and water - recipe here) in the mix to keep things smooth and balanced.
Basic Template: In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 ounces of the specified liquor, 1 ounce of the specified citrus juice, and 1/2 ounce of simple syrup. Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Whiskey or Bourbon Sour
Lemon juice + Bourbon or Whiskey + Simple Syrup
Another longstanding personal favorite. Optional garnish: maraschino cherry and/or half wheel of orange.
Lemon Juice + Vodka + Simple Syrup
This one works especially well with citrus-flavored vodka, but plain vodka will also do just fine. Optional garnish: lemon twist or wedge and a sugar-rimmed glass.
Lime Juice + White Rum + Simple Syrup
A Caribbean classic. Optional garnish: lime twist or wedge. (More on the story of the Daiquiri here.)
Do you have any other favorite simple citrus-based drinks?
(Images: Nora Maynard)