I would say that this recipe is a bit of citrus overload, but then again I don’t think there’s any such thing. I sometimes have to restrain myself from cramming citrus ad infinitum into whatever I cook. I’m like a kid in a candy store with citrus, except to render that simile exceptionally bland, the child is very sober and restrained and the candy store is just the local fruit & vegetable store with its not amazingly diverse citrus range.
This recipe is adapted from the latest issue of Delicious, and originally called for six Meyer lemons. Having precisely zero Meyer lemons handy, I changed the recipe to involve input from lemon, navel orange, Emperor mandarin and ruby grapefruit. The fizz element comes from the addition of yeast, which reacts with fructose and glucose (which is produced from the sucrose in the sugar courtesy of the yeast enzyme invertase — ok, wanton science indulgence time is over now) to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol. So the mixture should be slightly carbonated and ever so slightly alcoholic, although the relatively short reaction time really keeps this minimal. I find that the carbonation is barely detectable really, except as a slight change in taste (since carbon dioxide has a faintly sour taste) but it’s a pleasant and interesting change rather than just having this be your standard jug o’ juice.
It takes a little while to prepare, but in all it’s not much effort and it’s worth it in the end.
1 navel orange
1 Emperor mandarin
1 ruby grapefruit
1/2 tbs cream of tartar
1/4 tsp yeast
Note: you could use absolutely any combination at all of citrus fruits for this. As long as you have enough fruit to make about 500-1000ml of juice when you juice the fruits (so, say, at least 6 individual citrus fruits, each at least the size of a large lemon), you’ll be fine.
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind from the fruits, leaving the pith intact on the fruit (probably don’t bother with the mandarin, they’re basically impossible to get the rind off without getting all the pith too). Juice all the fruit then refrigerate the juice. Boil 1.5 litres of water in a saucepan then remove it from the heat. Add the rind, sugar and cream of tartar. Allow to cool to lukewarm temperature. Take about 1/2 a cup of the liquid and dissolve the yeast in it, then return this all to the saucepan. Cover and stand at room temperature for 10-12 hours (I’ve left it for 18 before, it doesn’t make a huge difference if you leave it a few hours longer). Strain, stir in the chilled juice, then pour into bottles and chill (make sure the bottles are sterilised if you plan to keep the juice for more than a couple of days). Serve with ice, slices of citrus, or try mixing it with something like ginger beer or champagne. Makes about 2L.