citrus Feed

Sodium Metabisulfite and Ascorbic Acid to Prevent Browning and Oxidation

I recently attended an online talk by Luis Hernandez of Cocktail Illustrators. Hernandez is one of the leading bar experts in using various alternative acids to replace citrus in cocktails. Here's an older story on some ways that he does this. One new tip I picked up in the talk (I'd link to it if I could remember where it was) is another way to prevent browning in cocktail ingredients. When ingredients that turn brown after cutting, such as avocados, apples, celery, avocados, and other cut fruit, they can either be preserved to prevent discoloration and oxidation, or discarded. When... Read more →


HPP Cold-Pressed Citrus Juice: Process, Sustainability, Consistency at Twisted Alchemy

I've been curious about HPP juices for a few years now, and over the past year have had a chance to email with Kim and Scott Holstein, Co-Founders of Twisted Alchemy. They provide a range of juices and some mixers for corporate and individual bar accounts as an alternative to heat pasteurized or self-squeezed juice. HPP Background Foods preserved by HPP (High Pressure Processing) are pasteurized without heat but instead by using pressure to squish any bacteria or other forms of life on the food products into oblivion. Or, more accurately, according to the company that makes these machines, "High... Read more →


Make Easier Oleo Saccharum from Leftover Citrus Bits with a Stand Mixer

Daren Swisher, co-owner of the forthcoming Daiquiris & Daisies, a "cocktail bar in a food hall, in the Financial District in Boston that might open soon" replied on Twitter to the post about Freezing and Thawing Citrus Ends in an Attempt to Make Oleo Saccharum. The post was about a (failed) attempt to make easy oleo saccharum from the ends of citrus fruit by freezing and thawing it to break the pockets of oil in the peels. It didn't work. Swisher replied, "I’ve done a similar thing, but with unfrozen ends and shells, I beat them up in a stand... Read more →


Testing Color Retention Strategies in Citrus Wheels, Part 3

Many bars make dehydrated citrus wheels as garnish because they don't readily spoil and there are no leftovers if a whole fruit isn't used at the end of a night as with fresh. I have been attempting to make better-looking wheels. First I tried blanching citrus before dehydrating. This didn't make great wheels once they were dehydrated. I also candied some wheels after blanching. These were more attractive but a lot of work and now that garnish for a cocktail will have lots of sugar. In a second set of experiments I tried covering lime wheels with tonic water (because... Read more →


Dehydrated Citrus Wheel Garnish - Fast Versus Slow Dehydration

In a Facebook conversation about making nicer-looking dehydrated citrus wheels, Jessey Qi posted a picture; a comparison of citrus wheels on a higher heat setting in a dehydrator versus a lower one. I think the "low and slow" ones on the bottom look much better than the burned-looking ones on top. So if your food dehydrator (or oven) offers multiple settings and you can set it below 200F/95C, then that's worth a try to make fresher-looking citrus wheels for long-lasting garnishes. Read more →


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 →