Lemon and orange citrus cooler

Chill out in the hammock with a thirst-quenching citrus cooler made from freshly squeezed oranges and lemons.

The Garden of Eating
Citrus coolers are easy and refreshing to make. Simply juice lemons and oranges and stir with water and sugar to taste.

I have this little habit of buying more produce than I can use. I just get so excited when I'm standing in front of a pile of gorgeous vegetables or fruits that I don't entirely think things through. I haven't fully decided whether this is actually a "bad" habit or not since it sometimes leads to wasted food (bad) and sometimes to creative new dishes (good).

I once ended up with five bergamot oranges – Monterey Market was selling this rare (and usually expensive) citrus fruit for only $1.29 a pound last weekend so I clearly had to buy a few, right? Of course I did!

For those of you who are not familiar with it, bergamot originated on the Ionan coast of Italy and is a cross between a Seville orange and a pear lemon. Although it may not sound familiar, you probably have come across it before. Do you know that lovely flowery flavor and scent in Earl Grey tea? Well it comes from oil of bergamot, an oil that is extracted from the rind of the bergamot fruit!

Unfortunately, I had no idea what to do with them once I got them home... I waited a week for inspiration to strike but nothing came to me – no whispered message in a dream, no omens sent from above, not a thing! I realized that it was time to take matters into my own hands when one of the fruits succumbed to a vibrant green mold.

Since our house was graced with an amazingly abundant Meyer lemon tree, I decided to combine these two sour yet flowery-tasting fruits in a unique citrus cooler.

There is no real recipe for my cooler – it's too basic. The first step is to juice the citrus. Luckily, both fruits are relatively easy to juice as they're soft and bursting with liquid – so much so that they may even fall apart a little while you're juicing them.

Then add water and sugar to taste, stir well, and cool. The result is a refreshing and fascinating blend of flavors – mild, flowery, acidic, and sweet. Enjoy!

Related post on The Garden of Eating: Strawberry Mint Lemonade

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