Fresh Citrus

I heard a compelling argument from Dale DeGroff and Tony Abou-Ganim this week at the Nightclub and Bar Show.

They were trying to convince a group of bar owners to switch from bottled, florescent sour mix, and they were almost coercive with their evidence.  This is an argument every home cocktail enthusiast should hear as well.

1. Commercial sour mix runs upward of $.15 per ounce (and more like $.50 for those of us buying it at the grocery store), replacing the fresh lemon and lime juices and simple (sugar) syrup in a cocktail.
2. Simple syrup costs about $.04 per ounce to make, and lime juice about $.07 (a little more when buying retail).
3. Twice as much sour mix as juice and syrup, by volume, is required for the same cocktail recipe.
4. Getting fresh juice from a lime, lemon or orange takes about 2 seconds to cut it in half and 2 seconds to squeeze.

Nobody argues that the taste of the sour mix is comparable, let alone better than fresh citrus and at home, just as in a cocktail bar, bowls of fresh citrus fruit look fantastic, making for cheap decoration, and indicate a much higher level of quality and care to your guest when you make a cocktail.  That’s right, I’m saying a lemon could get you laid.

A good, all-metal hand press will cost less than $15 and will last decades. I prefer the enamel-coated aluminum squeezers like the one pictured below.

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