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Why You Should Use Fresh Citrus in Your Next Cocktail

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We’re strong proponents of having a good home bar. Welcome to Cocktail Hour, where we’ll show you the best ways to put your liquor cabinet to use. This cocktail technique is brought to you by thebar.com.

Today: Don't get caught with the bottled stuff when mixing up a drink.

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Fresh citrus is as important to a cocktail as ripe berries are in a summertime sorbet. The tart and the sweet flavors are more pronounced and chances are, if you grab a bunch of lemons rather than the bottled stuff, it'll be less expensive and you'll avoid acrid flavors. Which is to say, juicing citrus at home is easy and your drinks (and dessert or dinner, for that matter) will be infinitely improved if you do it.

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There are many gadgets to coax juice from a rind, but one we like is the reamer—that chubby jabber hanging out next to your can opener, measuring spoons, and peeler. A useful little fellow that's quick and exact, its short, rounded handle is opposite a pointy end which you can plunge directly into the center of a halved lime. 

Don't have a reamer lying around? Not to worry: a fork will also do the trick, so you're covered. And we're going to show you how to juice citrus both ways—just watch the video below.

Now get to juicing for this Lemon Lavender Gin Rickey, a bright, floral cocktail that showcases the spry acidity of lemon matched to plucky gin and seltzer, with just a touch of lavender in the aroma. 

Photos by James Ransom

We've partnered with thebar.com to bring you cocktail content for your home bar. Please enjoy responsibly. 

Tags: cocktail, citrus, juicing, gin rickey