Learn with A Bar Above

The Joys of Fresh Juice

Sweet & Sour Mix vs Fresh Juice

When I first started bartending, I was handed a bottle of sweet & sour mix. I think most bartenders start this way. For the purposes of this course (and hopefully for all of the cocktails you make from now on), we’re switching to fresh juice!

Ain’t Nobody got Time for That!

Do you have concerns about the time it takes to squeeze fresh juice for your cocktails? You might be surprised to find you don’t need to fresh squeeze for each and every cocktail.

Fresh Squeezed Citrus Juice and Aging:

As mentioned in the video, Camper English & David Arnold both did some experimentation around holding time for lime juice and found that the taste and acidity were optimal around the four hour mark.  I’m not convinced that it’s significantly better than lime juice “a la minute“, however – so if you’re at a home bar I wouldn’t bother “aging” your lime juice four hours before preparing your evening cocktail.

For orange juice and grapefruit juice, “a la minute” is definitely the best option as holding these juices can accentuate bitter compounds.

  • Good: Just juiced
  • Slightly Better: Lime juice ~4 hours old
  • Still Good: same day
  • Bad: Sweet & Sour mix (just a reminder!)

Tools for Juicing

Commercial Citrus Press

Commercial Citrus Press

Hand Juicer

Hand Juicer - resized

Power Juicer

Power Juicer - resized

 This type of citrus press is ideal for juicing a large quantity of citrus all at once while still extracting some of the oils from the fruit. This type of citrus juicer also captures some of the citrus oils, but is best for squeezing citrus “a la minute“. For the work that we do, I don’t typically recommend this type of Power Juicer, as it is great at getting the citrus juice but typically leaves behind all of the oils – something that’s very important for capturing the full flavor profile in the fruit.