This homemade citrus sugar recipe adds a zip of flavor to drinks and desserts and looks beautiful on a glass!
Homemade Citrus Sugar Recipe
Have you ever ordered a craft cocktail from a restaurant and the glass was served with a special citrus sugar rim? There’s just something about it that makes the drink taste even better than regular old sugar or salt rim!
If you buy citrus sugar from a specialty store, it’s usually pretty pricey. However, citrus sugar is super easy to make at home and the ingredients themselves are cheap!
Plus, there are so many more ways to use homemade citrus sugar in addition to finishing touches for fancy drinks…
A few of my favorite ways to use citrus sugar:
- Use on the rim of your favorite cocktail, like these gorgeous Blood Orange Margaritas
- Sprinkle on the top of a dessert for a sweet and tart kick
- Stir into a cup of tea instead of your usual sweetener
- Add to a glass of lemonade or limeade for an extra refreshing summer drink
- Make a batch for gifting – who doesn’t love a food gift?
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This recipe is adapted from the Citrus Sugar recipe in Maggie Battista’s new book Food Gift Love – which we were invited to review. In her book, Battista details more than 100 recipes that you can make to share and gift to family and friends.
We have a fairly large family and circle of friends, so my husband and I are big fans of making food gifts. That way we can reach everyone on our list, and still have an amazing holiday, even while on a budget. Honestly, these homemade goodies usually get the most rave reviews and requests for next year too!
There are so many beautiful recipes to choose from in Food Gift Love, but I wanted to share this one because I loved how it turned out!
Citrus Sugar Ingredients
- 1-2 cups granulated sugar (to fill the jar you’re using)
- 3-4 citrus fruits (your choice)
How to Make Citrus Sugar
A free printable copy of this recipe is available at the bottom of the post, below the following photo step-by-step instructions.
Start by using a zester or a microplane (pictured below) to collect the zest from each of the fruits. You’ll want about 4 tablespoons of zest per gift jar (this was about 3-4 small fruits).
Feel free to use any type of citrus fruit that you prefer — lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc. You can use one type only (i.e. lime sugar) or a combination of different fruits (which is what we did for this batch).
Using a fork, spread the zest evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat (which is what I used).
Bake on your oven’s lowest setting (150-170°) for about 10 minutes. You want the zest to be dry, but not burnt, so keep an eye on it. You might need to cook a couple minutes more or less depending on your oven.
Once the zest is dry, remove from the oven — it should cool very quickly. Add to your granulated sugar and use a fork to gently stir until the zest is mixed throughout. You can then add it to your jar and decorate!
Here are some tips for hosting a Food Gift Party of your own:
- Decide on one recipe and a simple, but tasteful, way to wrap it. (For the citrus sugar, I used a mason jar with ribbon tied in a bow around the lid.)
- Set a budget for everyone to equally contribute to, or assign ingredients to be brought by guests. (For example: one person brings fruit, one person brings sugar, etc.)
- Set the time and place that is most convenient for everyone. (Scheduling a time during the afternoon might help avoid conflicts with holiday parties and family dinners.)
- You could even opt to create different recipes and exchange them at the end of the party with each other! (Draw names from a hat to decide who will be paired up to exchange their dishes at the end.)
For more recipe ideas, check out Maggie Battista’s new book Food Gift Love. She even provides lots of stunning gift-wrapping inspiration!
Grab a free printable copy of our Citrus Sugar recipe:
Homemade Citrus Sugar
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 citrus fruits oranges, lemons, limes, etc.
- Start by using a zester or a microplane to collect the zest from each of the fruits. You'll want about 4 tablespoons of zest per jar (this was about 3-4 small fruits).
- Using a fork, spread the zest evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- Bake on your oven's lowest setting (150-170°) for about 10 minutes. Remove zest from oven when it is dry, but not burnt.
- Remove zest from oven and allow to cool. Add zest to jar of granulated sugar and use a fork to gently stir until the zest is mixed throughout.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; however, all opinions are 100% mine. Recipe adapted from Food Gift Love by Maggie Battista; used with permission.