How does acidity work in a drink, what makes it sour, and what type of citrus should we be using in our cocktails? Today, we’re going to break down the understanding of citrus, sour, and acidity in your drink. It matters.
Ph is the measure of acidity, each ingredient falls different on the scale (although lemon and lime both come in around a 2 on the Ph scale). Remember, a Ph of 0 is battery acid, so these cocktails we’re making tend to be pretty acidic overall. Acidity needs to be balanced with sweet, but it’s a delicate “golden ratio” of flavor. We also can use cocktail modifying agents to make our sour cocktails remained well balanced, yet have more interesting taste profiles.
Citrus, Sour and Acidity all play a role in cocktail creation. Without the citrus the cocktail lacks depth and tends to be sugary sweet (even when it’s just using liqueurs). When you play a sweet you often should also play a sour (with a few notable exceptions such as the Piña Colada). Yet even that has pineapple juice which often has ascorbic acid as well as other fairly intense acidity — but it’s not really sour due to the total sugars; much like orange juice.
Citrus plays a pivotal role in your cocktail recipe designs. In general, you’ll pair your lemons with brown spirits and limes with clear spirits but there are always great exceptions to this rule. You’ll also find grapefruit juice, with a less sour but still tart bite, often works well in combination with lime juice.
Of course, always fresh squeeze your citrus!