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February 24th, 2011

Vitamin C — With A Twist

from Kate

Winter in California is citrus season. Yards are full of all kinds of fruit trees — lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange — just begging to be picked. People have so much extra, they give you all you can carry. This morning I opened the door to a large bag of lemons, but I’ll leave that for another post…

This is my neighbor’s tree. Even though these beauties look like grapefruit, they are really oranges. Very delicious and great for juicing. I am apt to reserve fresh-squeezed orange juice for a breakfast treat, but with the Oscars coming up I’m in the mood for a creative cocktail.

There are many, many libations that feature orange juice as an ingredient from classic to innovative concoctions. Looking through my favorite cocktail books (The Savoy Cocktail Book by The Savoy Hotel, Killer Cocktails: An Intoxicating Guide to Sophisticated Drinking by David Wondrich and Zero-Proof Cocktails: Alcohol-Free Beverages for Every Occasion by Liz Scott), I’m intrigued by a drink called the “Olympic.” There are certainly more adventurous recipes (like the classic Trader Vics Scorpion Bowl), but I’m going with the Olympic because it’s a sister to the Sidecar and invented at Paris’s Ritz Bar made famous by Hemingway and his contemporaries.

Here’s the recipe reprinted from Killer Cocktails:
2 ounces VSOP Cognac
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce orange juice
To finish: 2 drops Peychaud’s Bitters (optional)
Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Tip a couple drops of bitters on top, if you desire.

Though it is not called for, I’m going to garnish this baby with a twist of orange peel. Can’t let any of this beautiful fruit — or season — go to waste!

P.S. Fresh citrus is easy to order online from places like Harpos Organics.

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