Oleo saccharum is Latin for “oil sugar” – and that’s exactly what it is! It’s made by peeling citrus (usually lemon or orange), covering the peels with sugar, and leaving overnight. The sugar hygroscopically extracts the oils from the citrus peels, resulting in a rich syrup bursting with fresh flavor.
We’re big fans of the clever technique master mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler uses to make oleo saccharum: vacuum sealing! It’s easy – just load up a vacuum seal bag with peels and superfine sugar (enough sugar to thoroughly coat the peels), vacuum the bag, and wait four to six hours (or up to a week). You may need to add a bit of water to loosen up the mixture so that you can get it out of the bag. Strain out the peels, and voila: a delicious syrup for cocktails and punches.