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: 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.
We based this rum cocktail on one from Ray Buhen’s Tiki-Ti, a Los Angeles bar that opened in 1961.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
The Last Word
Equal parts gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice, this is an old-fashioned cocktail that feels awfully modern.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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 »
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 »
Some Brazilians substitute vodka for the fiery cachaça–sugarcane brandy–in this classic drink and call the result a caipiroska.
The flavors of ruby port and cognac grow even more profound when fired up in this orange juice-laced drink.
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 »