Spring Cocktail Recipes Made With Leftover Produce

pink fruit drink with mint

Overripe Citrus and Citrus Scraps

When you halve citrus fruit for juice or zest, don’t throw those leftovers away! A few rounds in a cocktail shaker will extract the rest of that citrus-y goodness and help you get a bit more use from your scraps before tossing them in the compost pile. Try these ideas to repurpose those scraps for your next gathering.

Fresh Rum Runner

The debate rages on about what constitutes a “real” rum runner. Some recipes call for up to four different kinds of rum, with a few splashes of OJ tossed in for good measure, while others are a more simple combination of spiced rum and fruit juice.

Since recipes vary so greatly, we thought we’d take a bit of creative license with our Rum Runner recipe and infuse the cocktail with an added touch of freshness, while using it to maximize some citrus scraps from your kitchen. Feel free to adapt the recipe to fit whatever leftover fruit you have on hand. Trust us, it’s pretty hard to mess this one up.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 oz light rum
  • 1 1/2 oz dark rum
  • 1/2 oz blackberry brandy or blackberry liqueur
  • 1/2 oz banana liqueur
  • 1/2 cup citrus scraps (including lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit)
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz water
  • Splash of grenadine (optional)

Mix it up:

  1. Pour light rum, dark rum, blackberry liqueur and banana liqueur into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add citrus scraps and water.
  2. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds to fully combine. Add orange and pineapple juice. Note: You may need to remove some of the larger citrus pieces to make room for the juice in your shaker. If this is necessary, use a bar spoon, fork or slotted spoon to remove larger scraps and set aside.
  3. Shake your mixture gently for about 5 seconds more.
  4. Strain into two highball glasses filled with ice. Top with a splash of grenadine if desired (grenadine will make your cocktail much sweeter, so taste it first for best results). Garnish with an orange, lemon or lime slice, and enjoy!

Suggested additions: If you happen to have some on hand, overripe berries, pineapple or melon would make a great addition to this cocktail recipe. Try to stick to about 1/2 cup of fresh fruit per batch (makes two cocktails) and work from there. If you’re making multiple batches for a get-together, feel free to reuse the fruit in your shaker several times before tossing it. As long as it still leaves its fresh and tasty essence, it’s doing its job.

Summer Sour

The whiskey sour is a classic concoction, but store-bought sweet-and-sour mix is often overpowering and, let’s just say it, pretty gross. Skip the premade sour mix and welcome summer a little early with this fresh whiskey sour recipe that’s sure to please. Soft, overripe lemons work perfectly for this, but you can also use lemons you’ve halved for juice or cut up for zest.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 oz whiskey
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz water
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

Mix it up:

  1. Pour whiskey, lemon juice, water and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Toss a few lemon slices in the shaker for an even fresher flavor.
  2. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds to combine.
  3. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice, garnish with a lemon slice and enjoy!

Next, Spring Cocktail Recipes Using: Extra Herbs and Herb Scraps

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Mary Mazzoni
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