Citrus peels plus sugar equals magic—who knew? When you mash the two together and let that marinate for awhile, the citrus peels’ bright, fragrant oils emerge. This syrup is classically used for cocktails, but it’s just as welcome in tall glasses of seltzer or olive oil vinaigrettes, even drizzled over ice cream. Find organic citrus, if you can, and scrub well before using. —Emma Laperruque
scant 1/2 cup
citrus peels, stripped with a vegetable peeler (I used a mix of orange and lemon)
In This Recipe
Combine the citrus peels and sugar in a sturdy bowl or measuring cup or container. Mash with a muddler or spoon really well—pretend you’re angry at the Oleo-Saccharum (maybe you are!).
Let it do its thing for at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. Feel free to mix and mash every so often, if you’re passing it by.
Strain out the citrus peels (really press on them in the sieve, to extract all that good oil) and store the oil in the fridge for up to a couple weeks.
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.