32 Best Citrus Cocktails

Give Drinks a Tart Kick With a Citrus

Hemingway Daiquiri

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

If you mix enough drinks, you know that citrus fruits are essential in the bar. They not only come in the form of lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit juices, but also as citrus-flavored liquors (e.g., triple sec, Aperol, and Campari) and syrups like sour mix. Citrus cocktails can be sweet, but the fruits' tart taste is often used to balance out drinks that use sweeteners or to accent the flavors of liquors. In several mixed drinks, citrus is the dominant flavor, and it's extremely versatile, mixing well with everything from whiskey to vodka.

While citrus is often associated with summer drinks because the fruits have a bright, refreshing, and tart flavor, fresh citrus fruits are actually best in the winter. No matter the time of year, any cocktail is better with fresh-squeezed juice, and citrus cocktails are a great way to pick up your spirit when the weather turns cold.

To experience the best citrus-forward drinks, have fun exploring some iconic cocktail recipes that feature fresh fruit juices, popular citrus spirits, and other mixers. Though almost any of these cocktails can be enhanced with a dash or two, orange bitters do not contribute enough flavor to qualify a drink for this collection.

  • 01 of 32

    Ward Eight Cocktail

    Ward Eight Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    A legend in the cocktail world, the Ward Eight is an enhanced whiskey sour. Choose bourbon or rye whiskey, then add equal pours of orange and lemon juices and just a dash of grenadine for sweetness to recreate this 19th-century drink.

  • 02 of 32

    Buck's Fizz

    Buck's Fizz Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    A fantastic brunch cocktail dating to the 1920s, the Buck's fizz is possibly the predecessor to the mimosa. The only things you need to pull off this drink are orange juice and Champagne (or sparkling wine like Cava), though an orange twist adds an elegant touch.

  • 03 of 32

    The Last Word Cocktail

    The Last Word Cocktail Recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    The last word cocktail is often an overlooked drink, but this variation on the gimlet deserves a taste. In it, the combo of gin and lime is enhanced with Green Chartreuse and maraschino liqueur.

  • 04 of 32

    Blood and Sand Cocktail

    Blood and Sand Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Mateja Kobescak

    For scotch drinkers, there is the blood and sand cocktail. Best described as a scotch Manhattan with cherry brandy and orange juice, the four ingredients are poured equally (so it's easy to remember) for a well-balanced cocktail that will impress anyone.

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    Pisco Sour

    Classic piso sour recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Key lime juice is not called for often in cocktails, though it does make the pisco sour far more enjoyable than the standard lime. To offset that intense citrus flavor, a touch of simple syrup sweetens the mix while an egg white gives the drink a luscious texture.

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    Pineapple Chili Margarita

    Pineapple Chili Margarita

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    Building off the original margarita's focus on lime, you can create several spectacularly flavored cocktails. Use pineapple juice and a dash of hot sauce to create a pineapple chili margarita that has a gentle but noticeable spicy kick.

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    Orange Creamsicle

    Orange Creamsicle Cocktail
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    The orange creamsicle is an utterly delicious drink. You can serve it several different ways. On the rocks, as a martini or shot, or blended into a frozen delight; you can use the same proportions of vanilla vodka, triple sec, orange juice, and cream no matter the preparation method.

  • 08 of 32

    Corpse Reviver No. 2

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe


    Lemon is often used as an accent juice, but in the corpse reviver no. 2 cocktail, it gets equal billing with orange liqueur. Set against the botanical combination of gin and fortified wine—with a little absinthe tossed in for good measure—this drink is bright, refreshing sipper.

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    Lavender Lemon Drop

    Lavender Lemon Drop Martini

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

    The lemon drop makes a regular appearance on modern martini menus. Take that irresistible sweet-sour taste to a new level and make a lavender lemon drop. The only difference is that you'll muddle lavender with simple syrup before adding the vodka and lemon juice.

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    Hemingway Daiquiri

    Hemingway Daiquiri

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    Accented with a hefty dose of lime (as any good daiquiri should be), grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur make the Hemingway daiquiri unique. Named after the writer who was known to thoroughly enjoy rum, it's a drink that will transport you to the Caribbean any day of the year.

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    Orange Blossom

    Orange Blossom Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Toss orange juice into a gin martini and you have an orange blossom. It's fantastic for brunch, and the key is to use sweet vermouth rather than the dry variety that's often paired with gin. The sweeter fortified wine marries the botanicals of gin with the tart citrus, making this a spectacular drink.

  • 12 of 32

    Valencia Cocktail

    Valencia Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    The area around Valencia, Spain, is famous for its oranges, so it shouldn't be a surprise that a few orange juice cocktails have adopted the name over the years. In this classic Valencia cocktail, you'll shake apricot brandy and orange juice and accent the duo with orange bitters.

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    Beautiful Cocktail

    The Beautiful Cocktail

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    For a subtle orange flavor, go with the aptly named beautiful cocktail. The recipe mixes cognac with an equal amount of Grand Marnier, one of the best-known orange liqueurs. It's sweet, sultry, and an elegant sipper.

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    Lita Grey Cocktail

    Lita Grey Cocktail Recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Sparkling and tantalizing, the Lita Grey cocktail is a twist on a classic recipe. Made with gin, apricot liqueur, sloe gin, and lemon juice, it's a stunning Champagne cocktail you won't want to miss.

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    The Boulevardier Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Karen Hibbard

    Beyond the sweet orange liqueurs, you can also enjoy the citrus fruit's flavor in bitter apéritifs. Campari is the star of this category, and it's used in several famous cocktails. While the Negroni and Americano get a lot of attention, the bourbon-based Boulevardier cocktail deserves equal recognition.

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    Aperol Spritz

    Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

    Apéritifs are designed to be enjoyed before dinner, and Aperol is another excellent option. The best introduction to its bittersweet taste is in the Aperol spritz, which simply needs a little prosecco and club soda.

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    Pegu Club Cocktail

    Pegu Club Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    Enjoy the perfect harmony of citrus and gin in the lovely Pegu Club cocktail. The recipe mixes orange liqueur and fresh lime with your favorite gin and aromatic bitters. It's a classic cocktail in every sense and has received the respect it deserves in modern bars.

  • 18 of 32

    Vodka Tonic

    Serve with lime

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    Lime is the preferred citrus pairing for tonic water. The fruit's tart taste is the ideal counterpart to tonic's dry profile, and the vodka tonic displays this match in the purest form because the liquor has a relatively neutral taste. It's a refreshing dinner drink option.

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    Apricot Sour

    Apricot Sour Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    Sour mix is a syrup flavored with both lemon and lime juices. Easy and inexpensive to make at home, it's a brilliant mixer that quickly adds a sweet-tart taste to any drink. In the apricot sour, all you have to do is mix it with apricot brandy.

  • 20 of 32


    Classic Daiquiri

    The Spruce Eats

    Though it comes in many flavors today, the original daiquiri is one of the best lime-focused cocktails you can mix up. Quite simply made with light rum, lime juice, and simple syrup, it's an exquisite drink with an impeccable balance of sweet and tart flavors.

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    Gimlet Cocktail

    Classic Gimlet Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    The gimlet requires just two ingredients. Choose a great gin, stir it with lime cordial (homemade is best, and it's easy to make), then strain it into a cocktail glass and enjoy the tart botanical taste of this legendary drink.

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    Devil's Punch

    Devil's Punch Tequila Cocktailv

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    The devil's punch combines sour mix with orange liqueur and juice. Yet, it's the sweet flavor of limoncello that really sets this tequila cocktail apart from the rest.

  • 23 of 32

    Gin Fizz

    Gin fizz recipe

    The SpruceEats / Emily Baker

    Go with lemon or lime to create your personal rendition of the gin fizz. Either citrus works wonderfully in this classic highball, and adding the egg white distinguishes it from the more popular Tom Collins.

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    Scotch Sour

    Classic Scotch Sour Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Emily Baker

    Lemon is used quite often in sour cocktails, and it's an excellent companion to whiskey. Unbelievably simple, the scotch sour displays this marriage wonderfully. Requiring just the two ingredients, this brightly flavored sipper is a pleasant treat on cold days.

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    Citrus Fizz

    Citrus Fizz

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    For a tasty mocktail with old-fashioned style, mix up a citrus fizz. Following a formula similar to the Ramos fizz, this zero-proof cocktail is made with orange and lemon juices and a hint of lime. Adding an egg gives it a luscious texture and foamy top.

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    Aviation Cocktail

    Aviation cocktail recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack 

    The aviation cocktail is a lemon-kissed drink that is as beautiful to look at as it is to drink. The keys to this gin classic are to find crème de violette liqueur and use top-shelf ingredients.

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    Lemon Cake Cocktail

    RumChata Lemon Cake Cocktail in a glass

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    The bright sweetness of limoncello is enjoyable on its own, and it makes a fantastic cocktail mixer. In the lemon cake cocktail, it's mixed with a popular cream liqueur to create an utterly delicious dessert drink.

  • 28 of 32

    Greyhound Cocktail

    Greyhound cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Emily Baker

    Grapefruit isn't used as frequently as the other citrus fruits. However, it's a fantastic mixer and the greyhound is a perfect introduction to its usefulness in cocktails. It even comes with the option of pouring gin or vodka.

    Continue to 29 of 32 below.
  • 29 of 32

    Fuzzy Navel

    Fuzzy Navel cocktail recipe

     The Spruce Eats

    Add a peachy twist to your screwdriver with the fuzzy navel. Switching from vodka to peach schnapps brings in a gentle sweetness that quells the acidity of orange juice perfectly. For a stiffer drink, a shot of vodka transforms it into a hairy navel.

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    Navy Grog

    Navy grog cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

    A rum drink entrenched in the history of sailing the seas, navy grog has taken many forms over the years. As diverse as they may be, this grapefruit and lime juice recipe from Don the Beachcomber's bar is a favorite.

  • 31 of 32


    Popular screwdriver recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    Orange juice is the star of countless cocktails, and the simple screwdriver is among the most iconic. Essentially vodka-spiked OJ, consider fresh-squeezed juice essential to this brunch and happy hour favorite.

  • 32 of 32


    Cantarito Tequila Cocktail recipe, cocktail in a glass with orange and lime slices

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

    Several cocktails use a combination of citrus, but few play it up quite like the cantarito With a tequila base, this highball uses lemon, lime, and orange juices as an accent, then tops the whole thing off with grapefruit soda.