Barhopping: Fresh-squeezed juice — it’s not just for breakfast anymore

Last modified: Friday, April 04, 2014
When was the last time you had a glass of fresh-squeezed citrus juice? I’m guessing it was served in a small glass that sat next to your cup of coffee at breakfast. And the juice was good, wasn’t it? Why, then, do we settle for pre-packaged or powdered sour mix in our cocktails? A margarita, for example, is so much better when made with fresh citrus juice.

Thankfully, with the growing mixology trend, more and more bartenders are using hand-held juicers for lemons and limes, with large countertop juicers and baskets of oranges and grapefruit nearby. I just wish there were more.

Recently, I visited one of the early visionaries, Ye Ol’ Watering Hole at 287 Pleasant St. in Northampton. The Watering Hole is a great neighborhood bar, and while there’s no cocktail menu, there is a juicer.

My visit was early in the evening, in the middle of the week, or as my friend calls it, “school night,” so the place was quiet. I asked the bartender, Amelia, for a greyhound, a simple cocktail she makes with V1 vodka and grapefruit juice, squeezed on the spot. Maybe it was the warm ambiance, or Amelia’s smile, but my greyhound tasted so much better than the juice I drank at breakfast — or maybe it was the V1 vodka?

Mixology doesn’t have to be all fancy-schmancy, it just has to be good. So demand more from your cocktail, and remember, fresh-squeezed citrus juice is not just for breakfast anymore.

Tim Driscoll is a bartender, a former bar owner, and a perpetual student of mixology.

How to make a greyhound

Serves 1

1.5 ounces of V1 vodka

Fill with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice

Serve on the rocks