Revive Leftover Citrus Juice with Zest

Bring your citrus juice back to life.

Citrus juice tends to degrade in flavor quickly, regardless of how it is stored. That's because interactions among the compounds in the juice change its flavor; these interactions continue not only in the refrigerator but also in the freezer. So if you ever find yourself with extra lemon juice or lime juice, is there a way to make up for the inevitable loss of floral complexity over time?

Taking a cue from our Best Fresh Margaritas recipe, which calls for steeping lemon and lime zests—which are chock-full of flavor compounds—in the drink base, we tried adding lemon zest and lime zest, respectively, to lemonade and limeade made with juice that we'd frozen for two weeks and then thawed. We strained the drinks before pouring samples and compared them to batches made with fresh juice. Sure enough, tasters couldn't determine which drinks had been made with thawed juice, signaling that adding zest is a great way to revive leftover citrus juice.

Here's how: Steep 4 teaspoons of zest in ½ cup of citrus juice for 1 to 4 hours, and then strain it.

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