While winter drinking tends toward the strong and stirred, the swell of the season’s most sought-after produce—bright citrus fruits—is a call to break out the shaker. And while a classic Daiquiri or Margarita is always welcome, some drinks, like a blood orange spritz or an amaro-tinged grapefruit sour, feel especially appropriate this time of year.
To make the most out of the seasonal ingredients, consider a few techniques to give citrus a boost in flavor and texture. Aerating juice in a high-speed juicer is one of the easiest ways to amplify aroma while creating a pleasant fluffiness, and the move can improve everything from Garibaldis, as popularized at New York’s Dante, to just about any citrus-forward cocktail, like a Paloma or Greyhound, that could benefit from a crown of froth.
The Key to “Fluffy Citrus”
Aerating citrus in a blender is the secret to a frothier, more aromatic drink.
Hack Your Drink: Acid-Adjusted Citrus
Used in tandem with fresh juice, acid powders can amplify flavors, or create new ones all together.
The Magic of “Citrus Stock”
Spent citrus and other fruits can be blended and cooked into “stocks” that provide another layer of flavor in drinks.
With texture perfected, turn to refining flavor with acid adjustment. When sweeter winter citrus is swapped in place of more acidic lemons and limes—grapefruit juice subbing for lime in a Daiquiri, for example—powdered citric and malic acids can bring some of that tanginess back into a drink and add versatility to any citrus juice.
Once you’ve made use of your clementines and Meyer lemons, don’t forget about the waste in their wake. “Citrus stock,” or a mixture of blended and cooked peels, is a handy and sustainable tool that can stand in for citrus or be mixed with sugar like a fortified cordial. Created by the Trash Collective, the citrus stock formula can be customized depending on the drink it’s intended for. Consider Sour Lemon stock, a hybrid of the acid adjustment and citrus stock hacks, to add zing and viscosity to any cocktail.
Ready for a bright spot this season? Here are 12 of our favorite ways to use blood oranges, grapefruits and more, from a frothy aperitivo drink to a wintry cobbler.
Blood Orange Cosmo
A winterized take on the Cosmo from New York's famed Flatiron Lounge.
Salt & Ash
An unorthodox recipe that stirs together mezcal, tequila, sweet vermouth and lemon juice.
Dan Greenbaum spotlights both blood and navel oranges in this winter citrus cobbler.
An after-dinner Fernet Old-Fashioned brightened with a blood orange reduction.
The two-ingredient, equal-parts aperitivo classic gets the sour treatment.
Blood Orange Garibaldi
An immensely satisfying two-ingredient cocktail.
Equal parts grapefruit fizz and lemon milkshake, the Pompelo Sour has a citrusy base that's pumped up with gin and bittersweet Amaro Montenegro.
Blood Orange Margarita
A showcase for that most dramatic of winter citrus.
The Mexican classic, the Paloma—essentially the love child of a Greyhound and Margarita—gets dressed up in a winter coat, courtesy the addition of sage-grapefruit syrup.
A julep built on Cynar instead of bourbon.
It’s So Easy
This clementine cobbler's citrusy edges are rounded out with Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate, a throwback to the soda fountain counters of yore.