You may have started to notice that I am a big fan of using citrus in cooking. I’ve already mentioned how much I love using my microplane to zest citrus. This leads me to my next “must have” kitchen gadget which are citrus juicers. There are a few different types of tools that can help juice citrus but I really like the Enameled Lemon Squeezer which helps to catch the seeds from the lemons and keeps the pulp out too. Of course, there are fancy electronic presses which are very nice but not really necessary unless you make a lot of your own fruit juices. There are reamers too but I don’t think they do a good job of keeping the seeds and pulp out. I have a lemon and lime squeezer and use them both frequently. Of course, you can always just use your hands but I think juicers help you to get the most out of your citrus and with the price of groceries these days I know I want to get the most I can out of my food. A few more tips for getting the most out of your citrus:
- Roll your citrus on a flat surface using the palm of your hand to start releasing the juices
- Stick in the microwave for 5 seconds to help the juices start flowing
- When purchasing lemons and limes try to buy fruit that feels heavy – a small, heavy lime will produce more juice than a big, light lime.
Today I’ll share one of my favorite ways to use freshly squeezed lime juice – in a mojito! Mojitos remind me of spending warm summer days at our friends cottage in Michigan. We make big pitchers of mojitos and sip of them all day long. And on this cold, snowy Chicago day in February a little memory of summer is just what I need!
- Simple syrup (simple syrup is just 2 parts sugar to 1 part water which you heat in a pan and bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once sugar is dissolved you can remove from heat and cool. Don’t cook too long or you’ll have caramel!)
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Light rum
- Club soda
- Mint leaves
Muddle about 6-8 mint leaves in the bottom of a glass. Muddling just means to smash or grind up herbs to release the flavor. You can use a spoon or they make tools called muddlers.
Fill glass with ice and add one part simple syrup, one part lime juice and 2 parts rum and stir. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with a mint leaf or slice of lime. So refreshing!