How to Use Winter Citrus in Cocktails

Celebrity chef and mixologist Kathy Casey talks about how to make cocktails with juicy winter citrus fruits

When the weather gets cold and the days get shorter, a shot of liquid sunshine can make winter seem a little more bearable.

Unfortunately, many people assume that citrus fruit is just in season during the summer. But a number of varieties are actually ripe right now, including sweet clementines, zesty Meyer lemons, kumquats, and more. And they all work wonderfully in cocktails — think of warm mulled wine with clove, cinnamon, and orange notes, or a quaffable brunch mimosa.

For instance, my Citrus 75 is a tasty combination of clementine juice, homemade limoncello, fresh lemon juice, and honey syrup. It’s finished with a splash of refreshing bubbly, which adds a festive air.

You can also find towering piles of alluring ruby red grapefruits in stores this time of year. I love what their brightness brings to a classic Negroni. I’ve played around with the recipe’s traditional measurements to create a Grapefruit Negroni, which is a bit less bitter than the original drink but is still a delicious aperitif.

Of course, we all know citrus as a garnish — twists and wheels grace many a tipple. But a light dusting of fresh zest lends any concoction a great pop of flavor and aroma.
So shake off those cold-weather cares and shake up some sunny citrus sips!

Click here for the Citrus 75 and Grapefruit Negroni Recipes.

— Kathy Casey