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The 11 best citrus cocktails to make in 2024

If you love a good citrus drink, these are the cocktails to mix up

A teal bowl of citrus fruit on marble
Sandra Roesch / Alamy

Citrus season is right around the corner, so let’s prep early and concoct invigorating spring and summer cocktails with peak seasonal ingredients like grapefruit, lemon, lime, and tangerine. Before making citrus cocktails, we have bad news: There’s a decent chance you’re doing citrus wrong.

We spoke with Tory Pratt, the founder of Pratt Standard Cocktail Company, a D.C. outfit that specializes in syrups tailor-made for vintage cocktails. Hence, it’s no surprise that Pratt knows a thing or two about getting the best out of citrus (Pratt’s ideal citrus-forward classic is the daiquiri, and we’ve got her favorite version, a blackberry mint riff, below). If you’re looking for easy cocktail recipes that include different types of citrus fruits, look no further and keep reading.

Tips on preparing citrus cocktails

Limes
Jenny Pace / Unsplash

How can we be better with citrus when mixing a drink? For starters, when it comes to limes, Pratt suggests looking for smooth fruit. “They’ll have two to three times the juice of pebbly limes the same size,” she said. Look for limes with a bit of give to them when you press. And keep in mind that the smooth rule doesn’t apply to other citrus.

Pratt also touts the importance of fresh juice. “Any lemon or lime juice that’s been sitting out for more than one to two hours oxidizes and becomes less tart,” Pratt explained. “So you need to use more of it to find sour-sweet balance in cocktails.” She said a lot of bartenders are using old juice, pressed prior to opening up shop. Orange juice is more forgiving, as are bottled citrus juices.

Another fun twist is to swap lime for lemon or vice versa. Pratt said this can be done for just about any cocktail. She pushes this notion for one staple drink in particular: “Everyone thinks of gin and tonic with lime,” Pratt told us. “Lime is great with heavy juniper gins like London Dry Style, but honestly, lemon is worth trying, too, especially with more botanical gins like American Dry Style and Old Tom gin.”

Keep in mind that the citrus world is broader than you might think, encompassing cocktail-ready fruits like yuzu, pomelo, kumquat, and more. Look for more exotic options to add to cocktail recipes or experiment with various options, such as the ones listed below. Whether you’re looking for the national drink of Martinique (Ti’ punch) or Pratt’s beloved Gin Rickey, we’ve got the 11 best citrus drinks to showcase the height and zest of 2024.

The Outdoor Type

The Outdoor Type Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(Created by Jehudiel Barba)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces “The Naturalist” Still Austin American Gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

Method:

  1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice.
  2. Shake until very cold and strain into a coupe glass.
  3. Garnish with a quarter moon of fresh grapefruit and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Hemingway Daiquiri

Five bottles of Hemingway Daiquiri on a tray
Marielle Dezurick / Montelupo Market

(Created by Montelupo, Portland)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces Cruzan White Rum
  • 1/4 ounce Luxardo
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce water
  • 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup
  • Dash of Peychaud’s bitters

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and serve up, finishing with bitters.
  2. If serving over ice, omit the water.

Gin Rickey

A refreshing glass of Gin Rickey cocktail
Pattymelt Creative

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (optional)
  • 1 spent lime half from juicing

Method:

  1. Combine ingredients in a Collins glass.
  2. Add ice to fill.
  3. Stir bottom up to mix the ingredients. Garnish as desired.

Blackberry mint daiquiri

A hand holding a glass of blackberry mint daiquiri on a wooden table
Roulaison

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum (Roulaison suggested)
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce Pratt Standard blackberry mint
  • Lime wheel (for garnish)

Method:

  1. Freeze a coupe glass. Combine rum, lime, and blackberry mint in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add lots of ice.
  3. Shake hard for 10 seconds.
  4. Strain into the coupe glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

Ti’ punch

A cup of Ti-Punch on a floral tablecloth
Daniel Krieger

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Rhum Agricole (light or dark)
  • 1 bar spoon cane syrup
  • 1 wedge lime

Method:

  1. In a rocks glass, add a splash of cane syrup and a squeeze of lime.
  2. Add Rhum Agricole and a few ice cubes.
  3. Stir gently and garnish with a lime coin.

The Honeypot

A bottle of The Macallan, a cup of Honeypot cocktail, lemon slices, and a spoonful of syrup on top of a golden plate on a wooden surface.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(Created by Erik Delanoy)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces The Macallan Double Cask 12-Year
  • 3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Murray’s Chestnut Honey
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Method: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice until chilled.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

Kumquat whiskey sour

Two glasses of kumquat whiskey sour on a wooden table
Patrick Truby / Flickr

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 2 1/2 ounces simple syrup
  • 3 kumquats, sliced and deseeded
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced

Method:

  1. Combine 2 ounces of kumquat sour mix (lemon juice, lime juice, kumquats, and simple syrup blended together) with 1 1/2 ounces bourbon in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a glass.
  3. Garnish with a kumquat round.

Sole Rosso

A close-up of skewered, candied limewheels on a glass of Sole Rosso
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(Courtesy of Scarpetta by Scott Conant, Fontainebleau Miami Beach)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Boulard Solage Calvados
  • 1 ounce Montenegro Amaro
  • 1/2 ounce Facundo Eximo Rum
  • 1 ounce yuzu juice
  • 1 ounce chilled mango tea
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • Candied lime wheels (for garnish)

Method:

  1. Add all liquid ingredients to a quality cocktail shaker tin with ice.
  2. Shake and strain into a snifter glass over a large ice cube.
  3. Garnish with a skewer of candied lime wheels.

Painkiller

An ice-cold glass of Painkiller cocktail with cherry and leaf on a table
Justin van Dyke / Flickr

(Adaptation by Dale DeGroff)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces navy rum
  • 2 ouncse unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce coconut cream
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice

Method:

  1. Combine ingredients with ice and shake well.
  2. Strain into ice-filled Collins or highball glass.
  3. Garnish by grating fresh nutmeg over top.

Pisco sour

A cold glass of Pisco sour cocktail with lime on a wooden table
Mizina / Getty Images

(Created by Death & Co, NYC)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Campo de Encanto Acholado Pisco
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 egg white

Method:

  1. Dry shake all the ingredients, then shake again with ice.
  2. Double strain into a coupe.
  3. Garnish with three drops of Angostura bitters.

Veracruz

A glass of Veracruz cocktail with strips of orange peel
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(Created by Cristóbal Srokowski, Ron Abuelo)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces Ron Abuelo 7 Años
  • 3/4 ounce orange juice
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/3 ounce honey syrup (2:1)
  • 3/4 ounce egg white
  • 1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange slice (for garnish)

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to the shaker and dry shake so the egg white is emulsified.
  2. Then shake again with ice added.
  3. Double strain into a coupette or a martini glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Benefits of citrus fruits

Citrus fruits
Getty Images

Let’s give you even more reasons to enjoy citrus cocktails and tell you the many health benefits of citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, essential for immune system function and collagen production. They also boast other vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, potassium, and fiber. Citrus fruits can also contribute to a healthy heart, as the fiber in citrus fruits, especially soluble fiber, can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Now you can enjoy your citrus drinks, knowing you may be helping your health.

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Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
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