Why You Should Add Citric Acid To Big-Batch Drinks

Creating batch cocktails is a game-changer for anyone looking to streamline their hosting game and spend more time mingling than mixing drinks. Batch cocktails are all about efficiency and flavor, allowing you to prepare large quantities of your favorite beverage in advance. When scaling up the ingredients, the key is maintaining the cocktail's flavor balance. The bright acidity of fresh lemon and lime juice fades quickly, so if you want to serve the best-tasting drinks prepared in advance, use citric acid instead of citrus juices.

Fresh citrus juice is an essential component of most cocktails, balancing out sweetness and adding a tart balance that makes all the other flavors of the drink brighter. But fresh lemon and lime juices lose their flavor over time; after several days, they can even have a metallic off-flavor. As the name implies, citric acid is one of the components of citrus juice that is responsible for acidity, although it is flavorless and has no aroma. It's a great substitute for the acid component of a batched cocktail if you want to make the drink days in advance to avoid the off flavors of old citrus juice.

Tips for using citric acid in your cocktails

You'll find citric acid powder in the canning aisle of your grocery store, where it's often added to make preserved foods last longer. One teaspoon provides the same acidity as a half cup of lemon juice, so you won't need much for even the largest of batched drinks. We recommend making a single cocktail first, swapping out an ounce of lemon or lime juice with a quarter teaspoon of citric acid to sample the flavor before stirring up a larger quantity to make sure you are happy with the result.

A great bonus of swapping fresh juice for citric acid is saving money on all that fresh fruit, especially when most of it ends up as food waste after being squeezed. You can buy a smaller amount of lemons or limes to use as zesty garnish, either as a twist or wedge to squeeze into your perfectly balanced batched cocktail when it's served.