Fresh Citrus Cocktails

A boon to winter cocktails, fresh citrus juice of all varieties brightens and sweetens everything from brown derby cocktails to Hemingway’s classic daiquiri.

Gin Campari Sour

Gin, Campari, and lemon are three ingredients that pair beautifully, but all have their sharp edges. Adding an egg white helps mellow and integrate these flavors without muting them, while also contributing a silky texture and an opacity that’s quite elegant in a vividly colored drink. Get the recipe for Gin Campari Sour »
Oleo saccharum sweetens this riff on the classic whisky cocktail, amplifying the citrus punch without clouding the drink with unnecessary juice.

Gin: Bee’s Knees

The phrase the “bee’s knees” was used in Prohibition times as slang to mean “the best.” This cocktail, a gin sour that’s believed to have been created around that time, used lemon and honey to mask the harsh smell of bathtub gin. If your guest wants something refreshing with gin, look no further. Get the recipe for the Bee’s Knee’s cocktail »

Michelada Bloody Mary

Chef Rick Bayless suggested this recipe for a bloody mary made with beer, citrus, and tequila.

Cuba Kola

We based this rum cocktail on one from Ray Buhen’s Tiki-Ti, a Los Angeles bar that opened in 1961.

Cayo Romano Cocktail

Freshly grated nutmeg rounds out the flavor of this shaken rum-and-citrus juice cocktail. Get the recipe for Cayo Romano Cocktail »

Paloma

One of Mexico’s most popular cocktails, the Paloma is a perfectly refreshing combination of sweet and tart with grapefruit, lime, and a pinch of salt. See the recipe for Paloma »

Maple Rye Sour

Forget the sours of your teenage years; this sophisticated update uses maple syrup to temper rye whiskey, with fresh lemon and orange juices to brighten things up. Maple Rye Sour »

Ginger Gold Rush

This twist on the Gold Rush substitutes honey for ginger liqueur. Ginger Gold Rush »

Dubbonet a L’Orange

This refreshing, tall drink marries the quinine-fortified aperitif Dubonnet with zesty fresh orange juice. Dubbonet a L’Orange »

Lemon Lavender Fizz

The juniper-scented undertones of gin play off nicely against the sweetness of a lavender simple syrup. Stirred with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and topped with club soda, it’s a perfect springtime drink. Lemon Lavender Fizz »

Balaton

This bright, citrusy cocktail features Zwack, a sweet-bitter Hungarian liqueur with a pronounced herbal note. The drink is named for Lake Balaton, a popular vacationing spot in Hungary. See the recipe for the Balaton cocktail »

Lemon Basil Blossom Cocktail

White rum combined with the juice of half a lemon and muddled lemon basil makes for a drink that’s sure to please everyone: not too sweet and not too strong, it’s a perfect beginning to any summer night. If you don’t have lemon basil, a fragrant herb often used in Indonesian cookery, substitute conventional basil and a few drops of lemon oil. See the recipe for Lemon Basil Blossom Cocktail »

The Dalmatian

Coral-pink and slightly opaque, this cocktail looks demure, but it packs serious heat: bitter and sweet, earthy and deep, with a slow, lingering burn from the vodka and pepper. See the recipe for The Dalmatian »

The Zombie cocktail

Donn Beach, the founding father of tiki bars and restaurants, set a limit of two per customer for this potent drink made with three kinds of rum, citrus, and spice. Get the recipe for The Zombie cocktail »

Pisco Sour Slushy

A classic Peruvian cocktail gets the freezer treatment. Made with the South American grape brandy that’s popular in Chile and Peru, the pisco sour makes for a salty, sweet, tart, and beautiful sorbet.

Brown Derby

Named for the famous hat-shaped restaurant, this simple cocktail of bourbon and grapefruit was the signature drink at LA’s 1930s Vendome Club.
In this cocktail, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice rounds out Lillet’s inherent bite, creating a sweet, citrusy drink that’s perfect for brightening up cold weather. See the recipe for The French Blonde »

Kaffir Lime Sour with Ginger

This tart, spiced cocktail, the winner of our 2011 Home Cook Challenge Cocktail contest, was inspired by a cocktail that winner Mo Lyon sampled at Seattle’s now-closed Licorous. It’s Thai-inspired flavors pair beautifully with Southeast Asian food; it’s also perfect on its own as an afternoon sipper.

Lady Shirley

Bourbon mixed with lemon juice, grenadine, and splash of soda gives the classic Shirley Temple a decidedly grown-up twist. See the recipe for the Lady Shirley »

The Last Word

Equal parts gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice, this is an old-fashioned cocktail that feels awfully modern.

Tiki Bandit

This version of a classic tiki drink mixes two kinds of rum with a variety of fruit juices and syrups. Get the recipe for Tiki Bandit »

Tangerine Mint Sparkling Margarita

This citrusy margarita from chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger is brightened with a hint of refreshing mint. Tangerine Mint Sparkling Margarita »

Punch Romaine

Punch Romaine, a rum-spiked shaved-ice palate cleanser served to first class passengers during the fateful last dinner aboard the Titanic on April 14th, 1912, was based on a recipe from famed French chef Georges Auguste Escoffier, who championed alcoholic shaved ices during the early twentieth century. The original recipe, essentially a granita, is updated here as a drinkable, citrusy cocktail poured over an iceberg of crushed ice.

Santorini Sunrise

The recipe for this Mediterranean take on the Tequila Sunrise comes to us from the New York City restaurant Molyvos. Try using a Greek honey infused with thyme or rosemary for a more pronounced floral sweetness, or swap out the vodka for ouzo for an intoxicating punch of licorice flavor.

The Moonwalk

Joe Gilmore, legendary Head Barman at the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, invented this cocktail in 1969 to commemorate the first moon landing. The drink—a combination of grapefruit, orange liqueur, and a hint of rosewater, topped with Champagne—was the first thing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth.

Spicy Shiso Smash

Shiso leaves muddled with spicy Thai red chile and slices of cooling cucumber make for a refreshing and festive cocktail.

Citrus SAVEUR

Created by 2012 SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards Best Cocktail Blog winner, Jordan Catapano of This Girl Walks Into a Bar, the Citrus SAVEUR is a punch-like drink that pairs white corn whiskey with grapefruit juice, mint simple syrup, and homemade sweet and sour. Get the recipe for Citrus SAVEUR »

Arak and Grapefruit

In parts of the Middle East, a bracing blend of arak (a grape-derived, unsweetened, anise-flavored liquor) and fresh grapefruit juice is a popular refresher. Arak can be found in the United States but is not always available; ouzo makes a fine substitute. Arak and Grapefruit »

The Swedish Vampire

Aquavit combined with fresh citrus, tomato juice, Tabasco, and brisk Perrier Lemon makes a fruity-fresh, bloody good concoction. Get the recipe for The Swedish Vampire »

The New Airline

Cool, mild cucumber and sweet elderflower liqueur echo gin’s floral notes in this cocktail, served at Atmosphere, the bar on the top floor of the tallest building in Beijing. With notes of apple, lime, and a bit of heat from fresh ginger, it has an effect talmost like a spa in a glass. Get the recipe for The New Airline

Melisse Whiskey Sour

Made with Buffalo Trace bourbon and fresh lemon, the Melisse Whiskey Sour is delicate and floral, a perfect balance of tart and sweet, with subtle vanilla notes and a sumptuous, meringue-like pillow of foam on top. Get the recipe for Melisse Whiskey Sour »

Blood and Sand

Scotch, Cherry Heering, vermouth, and orange juice create a smoky-sweet effect, equally good topped with extra juice and served for brunch. Get the recipe for Blood and Sand »

Slick Rick

Bartender John Maher of The Rogue Gentlemen in Richmond, Virginia, likes to incorporate savory ingredients into his drinks. In this sour, he pairs gin with an olive oil that has grassy, fruity notes. See the recipe for Slick Rick »

White Wine Punch

This festive, fuss-free punch recipe can be made year-round using seasonal fruit. See the recipe for White Wine Punch »

Harvey Wallbanger

Galliano liqueur gives this vodka and orange juice cocktail an herbal bite. See the recipe for Harvey Wallbanger »

The Big Red

Grapefruit juice and cinnamon-infused syrup bring bright, spicy balance to the wallop of navy-strength gin, a variety with an extra-high alcohol content. See the recipe for The Big Red »

Baltimore Bang

This stiff take on a whiskey sour is traditionally made with apricot brandy, but cognac is a less-sweet alternative. See the recipe for Baltimore Bang »

The Whiskey Seduction

This magenta-hued whiskey cocktail, inspired by a recipe from mixologist Cory Cuff of Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, pairs slightly spicy rye whiskey with the rich, fruity flavors of red wine and blackcurrant liqueur, brightened by a touch of freshly squeezed lemon juice. See the recipe for The Whiskey Seduction »

New York Cocktail

This drink is one of our favorites to make with Rittenhouse rye whiskey. See the recipe for New York Cocktail »

Caipirinha

Some Brazilians substitute vodka for the fiery cachaça–sugarcane brandy–in this classic drink and call the result a caipiroska.

Tante Marie Fizz

Since Whitley Neill gin gets its signature tanginess in part from the fruit of the African baobab tree, this sweet, sour, and spicy apéritif takes its name from a song by Senegal’s legendary Orchestra Baobab. See the recipe for Tante Marie Fizz »

Gooney Goo-Goo

The flavors of ruby port and cognac grow even more profound when fired up in this orange juice-laced drink.

Arnaud’s French 75

This elegant libation of cognac, lemon, and champagne is served at the historic bar attached to Arnaud’s restaurant, which dates to the late 1800s. See the recipe for Arnaud’s French 75 »

Derby Daiquiri

This bright, citrusy drink is from Fort Lauderdale’s Mai-Kai. See the recipe for Derby Daiquiri »

Hemingway Special

At Havana, Cuba’s El Floridita bar, this daiquiri was a usual order of author Ernest Hemingway. See the recipe for Hemingway Special »

Corpse Reviver No. 2

Popularized by the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock, this classic cocktail is part of a succession of “Corpse Revivers” originally devised as a hangover cure. An ice-cold nip of this elixir is refreshing, astringent, and strong enough to perk up the senses. Get the recipe for Corpse Reviver No. 2 »

Frozen Limeade Margarita

Canned frozen limeade intensifies the citrus flavor of this slushy Mexican-inspired libation. See the recipe for Frozen Limeade Margarita »

Infamous Wisdom

Bright citrus juice and citrus bitters, apple brandy, cherry-flavored liqueur, and bittersweet amaro add layers of complexity to this whiskey drink. Get the recipe for Infamous Wisdom

South Shore Sangria

Like an adult version of Hawaiian Punch, this cocktail is a balance of sweet liqueurs, fruit juices, and red wine. Get the recipe for South Shore Sangria »

Modern Royale

A combination of vodka, elderflower liqueur, and fresh citrus juices topped with bubbly makes an exceptionally refreshing cocktail. See the recipe for Modern Royale »
Amaro Montenegro carries flavors of bright orange and cedar that make it a natural for mixing into citrusy cocktails like this one with Aperol and fresh orange juice, from Jackson Cannon of Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston. See the recipe for Adriatique »