7 Super-Simple Citrus Cocktails Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

7 Super-Simple Citrus Cocktails Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

Nora Maynard
Jan 30, 2009

With all the fresh, juicy citrus flooding the fruit stands right now, it seems the perfect time to take a look at some quick and simple cocktails powered by Vitamin C.

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.

Bocce Ball
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 Drop
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.

Classic Daiquiri
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?

Related: Cocktail Basics: Citrus Garnishes 6 Ways

(Images: Nora Maynard)


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