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Blood Orange Oleo Saccharum

Oleo Saccharum / Tim Nusog

Despite its sciencey-sounding name, oleo saccharum is not an unusual or intimidating ingredient. The name simply means “oil (or fat) sucrose,” which is exactly what it is: using sugar to extract the oil from citrus peels. Bartenders have been using oleo saccharum as a cocktail ingredient since the early 19th century.

It’s both a great way to add delicious citrus flavor to cocktails and a fantastic means of reducing waste by using part of the citrus that might otherwise be tossed into the garbage.


  • Peels of 2 blood oranges

  • Peel of 1 lemon

  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, Y-peeler or similar tool, peel the entire surfaces of the blood oranges and lemon into a bowl.

  2. Add the sugar and muddle, ensuring the sugar is worked into the peels well. Let stand for 4 to 6 hours.

  3. Push the peels away to the sides of the bowl, allowing the oils to gather in the center.

  4. Remove the peels and transfer the oleo saccharum into a sealed container. Chill before using.