The Citrus Glut

Drinking winter's citrus

Bitter and sour, some of the less-common citrus varieties currently in season aren't the most approachable. But in the capable hands of these L.A. bartenders, such assertive flavors become the bases for wonderful cocktails.

The Bricia Named after Bricia Lopez, the mezcal-loving co-owner of Pal Cabrón, this drink (click here to download the recipe) from Las Perlas barman Raul Yrastorza features a house-made marmalade of sweet-skinned kumquats. Shaken with mezcal, egg white and spice-infused honey, it's a smoky concoction fitting for a cool night in Downtown L.A.

The Kipling Experiment Bergamot oranges are best known for their rind, which perfumes Earl Gray tea. The intensity of the whole fruit, though, can be overwhelming. At Providence, Zahra Bates tames the zest by candying it in white-wine-thyme syrup to use as a garnish. The same syrup is mixed with the fruit's juice, gin, lychee and Yellow Chartreuse.

Winter in Jamaica The Library Bar's Matthew Biancaniello is currently working with so many different citrus varieties–mainly from Mud Creek Ranch and Garcia Farms–that he's forgotten a few of their names, but never their flavors. Seven different varieties were used in his Winter in Jamaica on our visit, the muddled slices shaken with Smith and Cross rum, allspice dram and agave.