Use Those Leftover Lime Rinds For A Better Cocktail

Limes whole and halved
Limes whole and halved - Ben Phillips/Getty Images

When the clock strikes happy hour, citrus fruits -- such as limes -- are a welcome addition to any menu. Partygoers pass around lime slices to curb the burn after a tequila shot, while beer drinkers may squeeze a fresh slice into the neck of their beer bottle to cut through the rich flavor of their beverage. But after a lime has been juiced, most people toss the rinds away. This is a shame, as crafty cocktail enthusiasts have found plenty of ways to reduce waste and recycle limes after they've been sliced and squeezed. Before you throw out your citrus rinds, repurpose them to make a simple syrup that's bursting with zesty flavor.

As the name suggests, simple syrup is easy to make, and even easier to use in various beverages. It's an important ingredient in countless cocktails, due to the way it dissolves without any graininess and adds sweetness without distraction. However, it's also a blank canvas for various flavorings. Typically, simple syrup is made by adding sugar and water to a pot and bringing it to a boil, but adding limes to the mix makes for a more complex flavor experience. Creators on TikTok are spreading word of a way to use the rinds of limes as a simple syrup ingredient, leaving you with a no-waste, flavorful sweetener that is perfect for refreshing drinks.

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Make This Citrusy Simple Syrup At Home

Simple syrup bottle
Simple syrup bottle - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Using leftover lime rinds to make simple syrup takes a little more time than just boiling water and sugar, but the results are worth it. This simple syrup hack works best with a large batch of limes, but you could easily downscale the ingredient quantities to use whatever amount of lime rinds you have left over. In a TikTok video, chef Veronica Eicken demonstrates her method of using spent limes.

Eicken tosses her limes into a blender along with three cups of water, and pulses for only three times. Then, she strains the mixture into a pot and adds three cups of sugar, bringing the whole mixture to a boil. After plenty of mixing over low heat until the sugar dissolves, the syrup is ready to be stored, chilled, and added to your favorite beverages.

One of the best things about making your own simple syrup is that you can control the amount of sugar and flavorings, making the syrup precisely to your taste preferences. Making your own simple syrup is cost-efficient, and flavored syrups last for two weeks in the fridge, as long as they are stored in a clean, airtight bottle. Whether you're trying your hand at home bartending or you're looking for the perfect gift for a cocktail connoisseur, this homemade lime-flavored syrup is the answer to deliciously elevated drinks.

These Drinks Are Elevated With Homemade Lime Syrup

Cocktail with lime slices
Cocktail with lime slices - Kritchai7752/Shutterstock

Simple syrup can be used for recipes besides cocktails -- it makes a smooth sweetener for your coffee, and bakers like to brush it on cake layers, as well. Boozy drinks, however, might be the best use for lime syrup, as so many classic concoctions already call for some lime flavor. With your homemade simple syrup, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

Obviously, a refreshing margarita is first on the list of lime-centric cocktails. A classic margarita recipe calls for lime juice, along with triple sec and tequila. To change things up, forgo the sugar rim and instead add a splash of lime simple syrup, which provides a subtle sweetness that's not overpowering, plus an extra burst of citrus flavor. Tons of others cocktails could benefit from the same treatment, from a Long Island iced tea to a classic Mai Tai and even a mint julep. Use your imagination and trust your taste buds when experimenting with the syrup.

For those who prefer less booze, lime syrup can add an unexpected kick to non-alcoholic beverages. Lime in Coca-Cola is a classic combo, and you can also experiment with fruity sodas like grape and orange for a tasty hybrid drink. Acidic ginger ale and lemonade can also become even brighter with a hint of lime, and mocktails are anything but boring if you add a burst of homemade lime goodness.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.