What Are Kaffir Lime Leaves & How Are They Used to Make Drinks?

If you enjoy making your own drinks or cocktails, then you need to know about kaffir lime leaves for making citrus drinks! Here's everything you need to know.

There are two types of cocktail hobbyists. A bartender generally works within the confines of existing drink recipes. Alternatively, a mixologist thrives on creating new cocktails from exciting and unique ingredients. 

If you fancy yourself among the latter when whipping up drinks such as citrus fruit cocktails, you need to know about makrut lime leaves.  

Read on to discover everything you need to know about this citrus and how you can use it in drinks. 

Kaffir Lime Leaves

Makrut limes grow in Thailand, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia. While they do, as the name suggests, grow a strain of lime, the real interest is with the leaves. 

The kaffir lime leaves are dark green and hourglass-shaped. 

Because they are so aromatic and flavorful, the small leaves are often used in cooking. Makrut is usually used in Thai recipes such as curries and stews.  

However, the curious citrus leaf is not only used for cooking. There are many cocktail ideas and ways to use them in drinks. 

Kaffir Lime Drinks

It's possible you have tried kaffir lime leaves in a dish but have not realized it. Sometimes the flavor is buried under other spices. As such, the best way to experience the flavor of makrut lime leaves is in drinks. 

The leaves are sometimes sold dried or frozen, but our fresh kaffir leaves make the best citrus cocktails.

Kaffir-Infused Gin

This technique puts a modern spin on classic gin cocktails. Gin is growing in popularity. Therefore, this is one of the fun cocktail recipes to start with.

What you'll need:

  • Bottle of your favorite gin
  • 8-10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 days

Crack and break the leaves to release the flavors. Put the leaves into the gin and allow them to infuse for two days. 

This is a very easy recipe—the only issue is the time it takes. When finished, you'll have a kaffir-infused gin that can be used for any gin cocktail. 

Try a kaffir gin with tonic water on a hot day. 

Kaffir Mule

This is a way to add unique flavors to a classic vodka cocktail. The aromas of the makrut leaf help elevate the complementary flavors. 

  • 2oz vodka
  • 2 kaffir leaves 
  • Lime wedge
  • Ginger beer

Muddle the lime and the leaves in the bottom of the glass to release the flavors. Add ice and vodka. Top the drink with ginger beer. 

You now have an equally refreshing and elegant cocktail.

Kaffir Lemonade 

This might be the best idea if you want a makrut drink without any alcohol. It's one the whole family can enjoy.

  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves
  • Carbonated water
  • lime juice to taste

Create a syrup by bringing the leaves, sugar, and two cups of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the sugar dissolves.

Once cool, add 1/2 cup syrup to 1/2 cup carbonated water. Add ice and a splash of lemon juice to each. 

In the summer, citrus drinks are the most refreshing

Make Room for Kaffir

Maybe tonight calls for something different than the same old cocktail. Consider using fresh kaffir lime leaves to make one of these dazzling drinks, or try your own makrut lime creation!

If you enjoyed this article, check out our blog full of other interesting citrus ideas!

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