Oleo-Saccharum Is The Citrusy, Sweet Ingredient Your Cocktails Are Missing

Oleo-saccharum is called "magic oil" by Advanced Mixology for good reason. The inventive, thrifty ingredient has been used by bartenders since the 1800s, and today, Manhattan hotspots and bartenders in the know continue to use drops of the infused oil to enhance cocktail recipes and keep drinks fresh throughout the evening. Who would have thought an oil made from fruit peels and sugar could become such a useful ingredient behind the bar?

While the term itself may seem complex, oleo-saccharum is simply naming the included ingredients: oil (oleo) and sugar (saccharum). If sugary oil sounds like it belongs nowhere near any of your cocktail recipes, rest assured that the inclusion of oleo-saccharum can amplify flavors and lend aromatic elements that can brighten a standard drink order. With just a few drops, this easy-to-use oil can turn an average, run-of-the-mill cocktail recipe into something a professional mixologist might slide across a wet counter.

A versatile infusion for drinks and food

Instead of throwing away the parts of fruit you aren't going to eat, you can use those peels to make a syrup to flavor your next cocktail. While citrus peels usually form part of the base to make oleo-saccharum, you can also consider using banana peels. Simply add your choice or lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange coverings to a bowl, add sugar, and let the mixture sit. When you're satisfied with the intensity of your infusion, press the sugar-marinated peels and store the resulting oil to add to drinks and other recipes.

American chef and author Michael Symon enjoys traditional old fashioned cocktails with drops of citrus oleo-saccharum and makes daiquiris with banana peel oleo-saccharum. Consider including oil made from lemons in iced tea, punch, and lemonade for the teetotalers at your party, or drop the ingredient into salad vinaigrettes and homemade ice cream. Once you have your batch of zesty oleo-saccharum made, you can get creative with incorporating the ingredient in a variety of food and drinks.