citrus Feed

Testing Color Retention Strategies in Citrus Wheels, Part 2

Many bars choose to use dehydrated citrus wheels instead of fresh ones to use as garnish in cocktails. As drying out the citrus preserves the wheels, there is no waste at the end of the night. However, some customers do not enjoy the look of ones that are toasted to a brown color. I decided to try my hand at dehydrating/preserving some lime wheels in various ways to see if I could make them retain a lively bright green color while preserving them. (Spoiler: I have not succeeded.) My home dehydrator has only one setting, and it seems pretty hot... Read more →


Freezing and Thawing Citrus Ends in an Attempt to Make Oleo Saccharum

Oleo Saccharum, sugar imbued with citrus oil, is typically made with peeled citrus. The peeling seems to be crucial to freeing the oils in the citrus for the sugar to pull it out - you can't just pour sugar over a whole lime and make oleo saccharum. I was curious about making oleo from the ends of citrus after making wheels - those are not typically peeled and would be very hard to peel. Also, for limes that were squeezed (as limes are hard to peel) - same situation. My thought was that if you put the citrus in the... Read more →


Low- and No-Citrus Innovations from Stillife in Montreal

The bar Stilllife in Montreal uses no fresh citrus juice on their menu. The citrus products they do use are waste created by their other bar, The Cloakroom. Bar owner Andrew Whibley emailed with some information and recipes from the bar. He made sure to credit the other members of his team for these recipes as well: Andrew Whibley- Owner Stillife/Cloakroom Bar Jonas Kempeners - Manager Cloakroom Jay Lawson- Prep manager Stillife Anna Levy- Prep manager Cloakroom Quick Links Citrus Oil Sprays instead of using fresh peels Fermented leftover citrus juice and a drink recipe that uses it Acid-adjusted fruit... Read more →


Make candied citrus peels from oleo saccharum

Oleo saccharum is citrus sugar extracted from citrus peels. You can then take those sugar-coated peels and put them in a food dehydrator to make dried candied peels as a garnish or snack. Simply: Peel citrus Cover peels with sugar and let sit overnight. The sugar will pull out citrus oils and turn into syrup The next day or two, use your fingers and wipe off the syrup from the peels and place in a dehydrator (or in your oven on the lowest setting) Reserve the flavored sugar syrup to use in cocktails. I use mine in Old Fashioneds (orange... Read more →


Testing Blanched Citrus Wheels for Color Retention in Dehydrated Garnishes

In many online recipes for candied citrus peels, the directions include blanching the citrus in boiling and then freezing water several times in order to "reduce bitterness and retain color." I wondered if the color-retaining properties would carry over to dehydrated citrus wheels, which are a popular way to garnish cocktails with less waste than fresh citrus wheels - as leftover wheels and partially-cut citrus would be discarded at the end of each night. Dehydrated citrus wheels often turn brown and don't taste good, so I was seeking ways to improve them. So I did an experiment: I compared dehydrated... Read more →


Non-Alcoholic Milk Preserved Sour Mix Foamer

Julian de Féral is an international drinks consultant, occasional bartender, and writer. He was previously the drinks director for the London-based Gorgeous Group. He created a non-alcoholic milk punch that uses an oleo saccharum from extra lemon zests, plus older lemon juice. The mix punch method (curdling the mixture with milk then straining) helps preserve the lemon flavor, and adds whey from the milk that in turn adds froth to cocktails! Typically the ratio of "punch" to milk in the milk punch is 4:1 and this one has more, it would be interesting to play with the ratios to see... Read more →


Advice from Christina Mae Padilla: G&T Teabags, Infusions, Reducing Napkin Use, and More

Christina Mae Padilla is a California bartender and ambassador for brands including Tequila Fortaleza. Use Less Napkins By Moving Them Further Away from Customers We also removed accessibility of cocktail napkins as people would grab a handful to spit out a piece of gum or 20 napkins to clean up 3 droplets of spill. Napkins were behind the bar and available upon request or if we saw a need. Citrus Husks as a Tea to Flavor Gin & Tonics After peeling and then juicing citrus, I would take spent lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit husks and slice them down to... Read more →


Cocktail Bar Sustainability Tips from Duke's in Healdsburg, CA

Tara Heffernon, an owner of Duke's Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg, wrote in with several systems that the bar uses for sustainability. Burning the Ice Instead of burning the ice, it is transferred into kitchen sinks to melt. Most bars burn their ice with hot water, as ice doesn't melt in time to be replaced by fresh sexy ice the next day, especially with how many bars use high end ice like Kold Draft (which we do). Even our pebble ice doesn't melt fully overnight, just enough to be too soggy and gross to use, so sacrificing our labor by transporting... Read more →


Tips from Aisling Gammill of Water Bear Bar in Boise, ID

Aisling Gammill of Water Bear Bar in Boise ID sent over tons of strategy for various sustainability improvements. Below are Gammill's tips. When to Use Acetic (Vinegar), Malic, and Other Acids Vinegar makes the best acid replacement. It is used usually in smaller amounts ex. .75 lemon is standard per cocktail, vinegar is more like .25 to .5 depending on the type of vinegar. I find that vinegar can make a wonderfully delicious sour, Daiquiri, Collins, or champagne topped something. It is a matter of balancing the acid, and not treating it necessarily like citrus when building. It is also... Read more →


Misc Tips from Luuk Gerritsen of Curacao

Luuk Gerritsen lives on Curacao and is the general manager of Kome. Some of the ideas below were developed at previous venues where Gerritsen worked, and he would also like to acknowledge Bar Manager Wesley Quinlan as partner in many of these recipes and procedures. Citrus Gerritsen says, "All our fresh juice will be frozen at the end of the night and agar-clarified the day after. [Agar clarification turns the juice clear and helps it last much longer.] We clarify and acidify citrus for bottled drinks. Also, blending it with a little zest can bring back the aroma." They freeze... Read more →


Many Citrus Reuse and Alternatives from Boston’s Seth Freidus

Boston’s Seth Freidus formerly headed up the bar programs at Alden & Harlow and Waypoint. Later in 2020, he’s planning on opening his own bar in Boston called Good Company. The below is edited from emails from Freidus. Working With the Kitchen When we write menus, for kitchen/ food and bar/cocktails, kitchen managers, bar managers and myself sit down and collaborate for cohesive menus that cross-utilize as many ingredients as possible without having stale, boring, redundant menus. We write menus based on the season, and what will be readily available for high quality produce. From there we collaborate on using... Read more →


Lime Acid Water, Acidified Orange Juice, and Cocktails in Which to Use Them from McClellan's Retreat

Brain Nixon of McClellan's Retreat in Washington, DC shared his recipe for Lime Acid Water, a lime juice replacement, and Acidified ("Corrected") Orange Juice, a way to make orange juice last longer and be more useful in drinks. Below the recipes for these ingredients are cocktail recipes that use them. Lime Acid Water Ingredients Amount Water 1 qt Citric Acid 16 grams Malic Acid 10 grams Ascorbic Acid 9 grams Cucumber 0.5 Preparation Method Cut half a cucumber into slices Soak in water for an hour Strain out Cucmber Combine water with remaining ingredients in blender and blend until acids... Read more →


Citrus Juice Rotation Schedule from Bull Valley Roadhouse

Tamir Ben-Shalom of Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa, California shared their fresh citrus juice rotation schedule, which is meant to use up fresh citrus and minimize waste. Key Points Use small bottles for citrus, filled all the way up, both to make it last longer and to have easy quantity calculation. Make it easy to cut to order at the end of the night and squeeze just a bit of juice. Have a system to use the juice in order from oldest to youngest. From Ben-Shalom: We are normally closed Monday-Tuesday, and Wednesday is Dram Shop (a guest bartender... Read more →


Acid-Adjusted Grape 'Citrus' Juice and Milk-Washed Shrub to Replace Citrus in Cocktails

Patrick Braga of Paper Plane in San Jose wrote in with some recipes that use alternative acids in place of citrus in cocktails. He writes, "In the past I've played with citrus stock, and I'm not the greatest fan of the end products. I've also used spent citrus to make acid rectified hydrosols, and it turned out great, but without a large still would be nearly impossible to execute at volume for the bar." "So far on Paper Plane's menus I've created two drinks that are refreshing without the use of citrus, The Grape Pretender and the Here Comes The... Read more →


Many Tips from Nicholas Box of Acorn in Vancouver

The following missive comes from Nicholas Box of The Acorn restaurant in Vancouver. This post has tons of information in it, so if you followed a link here you might have to scroll a bit to find the particular section where it's mentioned. "I run the bar at The Acorn restaurant in Vancouver - that is up until the great closure of many many businesses. We are a 44-seat vegetarian restaurant focused on local ingredients. Now citrus isn't very local, but at least we can still order in organic. I'm a believer in getting organic when possible, especially if the... Read more →