It’s The Home Bartender time! This series caters to those of you who are not necessarily working bartenders but who are really interested in drinking better cocktails and learning how to make them! Each month our Home Bartender expert, Matej Novak, will run you through a new topic. This month, he discusses citrus fruit.
- Choose carefully: Look for plump, ripe fruit, just like if you were buying it to eat. If you’re buying oranges and lemons for zesting, make sure they have taught skins that are well dimpled. That means they’re full of oils, especially around their “poles.”
- Clean thoroughly: From the field to the truck to the store to your counter, a lot of things come into contact with that piece of fruit before it gets to your mouth. Consider buying organic, but whatever you do, make sure you wash it before using.
- Peel thinly: When zesting, try to get as much peel and as little white pith as possible. The peel contains the aromatic, flavourful oils, but the pith is bitter. I even go as far as to cut a bunch of it off when using whole limes in a drink like a caipirinha.
The nice thing about citrus is that it doesn’t require a lot of special tools. You’ll need a knife, a peeler, some way to juice it — all things you’re likely to have in your kitchen already. And most of the extras you can find easily, like plastic squeeze bottles to use if you’re juicing your fruit ahead of time (just make sure to do it right before your party as juice doesn’t tend to keep well or very long, even in the fridge).