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
A muddler or spoon
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.
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.
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.