2 Simple Cocktails for Lemon Lovers

Lemon is as versatile behind the bar as it is in the kitchen. From peel to juice, this sunny citrus can brighten and balance your cocktails.

“To put it as simply as possible, lemon is going to make alcohol more drinkable,” said Ei Cullina, the head bartender and assistant general manager at Nobody’s Darling in Chicago. “It kind of quiets the burn.”

Recipe: Hard Lemonade

Start with the juice: Freshly squeezed is best, but don’t stress about preparing it right before, said Mx. Cullina, who uses the pronouns they and them. Lemon juice that’s sat for a little while can “provide a slightly nicer flavor,” they said. But for flavors that pop but aren’t overly bitter, just aim to use it the same day it’s squeezed.

Then, to mix in that juice, remember a simple refrain: often shaken, rarely stirred. Citrus and alcohol have different densities, and a good shake helps them mingle. The ice also incorporates air, transforming the individual ingredients into a frothy, light and refreshing cocktail.

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