Don’t Throw Out Those Fruit Peels. Make a Trash Cocktail.

Don’t Throw Away Fruit Scraps. Make a Trash Cocktail.

Before you throw away all those clementine peels, consider the trash cocktail. Follow these instructions →

Citrus peels can be used to make an old-fashioned cordial known as an oleo-saccharum, a syrup that can be added to the drink of your choice. You’ll need:

  • Citrus peels (any kind, about 3 cups)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Vodka (optional)

  • Water

  • A bowl

  • A muddler or spoon

1. Stockpile

As you snack on clementines or squeeze lemons over pasta throughout the week, stash the peels in a bag inside your fridge. After you’ve accumulated a handful, it’s time to make a drink.

2. Start your cordial

Place all of your peels in a bowl and cover with a half-cup or more of sugar. Give them a nice, even dusting. (Professional bartenders separate the pith from the peel to avoid bitterness. Your call!)

3. Wait ...

Let the sugar-citrus mixture rest for at least an afternoon, or overnight — the longer, the better.

If you start in the morning, you can have a drink right in time for cocktail hour.

3. Muddle

If you must fuss, smash the peels with a spoon or a muddler.

4. Stir and strain

Once you have liquid pooled in the bowl, add a bit of water, lemon juice and vodka, and stir to incorporate. Remove the peels and squeeze any additional liquid out of them. A little goes a long way.

5. Cheers

You made a cordial! Enjoy it in a fizzy highball, gimlet, spritz or drink of your choice. Next time, try experimenting with grapefruit, blood orange or lime.

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