It's no secret that blood oranges are some of my favorite fruits to work with. I love to use citrus elements in cocktails and blood oranges have a universal appeal. I get excited when I realize that it is finally blood orange season and I'm able to indulge in a little goodness. This week I decided to take my love of blood oranges and share how you can make them elevate simple cocktails.
You're probably looking at this gorgeous cocktail and thinking: 1) that is one hell of a watermark and 2) that is probably tequila.
You would be wrong on that last account! It's actually a bourbon cocktail. Salt rims are so associated with tequila and mezcal cocktails that we often forget that they can be used for any cocktail. Salt adds a flavor that balances your cocktail and also pushes it forward. I love a salt rim with a blood orange cocktail because it makes the blood orange less sweet focused and more appreciative of the smoothness of the cocktail.
The Hero Remembers
You may be thinking this is a disgusting idea but let me tell you it is not. It's a great pairing of sweet and savory and is a perfect option if you want to open the floor to other tastes and preferences. It's a twist on a simple margarita and also fits the mold of the gin gimlet. That's what makes me so happy about these cocktails using blood orange. If you really look at the simple methodology and the ingredients they really copy from a number of sources. You borrow and you expand.
2 oz bourbon
3/4 oz cointreau (orange liqueur)
1 oz blood orange juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 simple syrup
Garnish: Lime wedge and salt rim
Recipe: In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour all ingredients. Use the leftover lime to rim the glass in salt and garnish with lime wedge. Shake the cocktail shaker until it feels cold in your hands (about twenty seconds).
My other vibe with blood orange cocktails goes to my mother. The woman loves a good tequila after a long day. I have really excelled in my margarita making and also have played around with the ingredients. I have added salt, muddled cucumber, and of course blood orange. It's all about learning where you want to go with the cocktail. Do you want a simple situation? Do you want something sweet? Are you feeling a little lazy or do you want to build something complex? Who are you trying to impress?
This one I decided to mix the simple! I used blood orange to provide color and a smoothness and then worked with a simple homemade sour mix to keep it simple and sweet.
A Bloody Good Time
This is staple cocktail. Tequila, salt, blood orange and you can't go wrong. I love this cocktail for the simplicity and the drinkability. It's a cocktail that I constantly come back to because it raves and is always a good time.
2 oz Tequila
1 oz Mezcal
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz Blood orange juice
1 1/2 oz Sour Mix
1/4 oz Lime juice
Garnish: Salt rim and lime wedge
Recipe: In this cocktail, it's all about the mix. In a cocktail shaker, I pour all ingredients starting from the non-alcoholic and then the alcohol. I like to add a little extra lime because that's my taste but you can ignore it. The sour mix is citrus and simple syrup so if you want to copy this then you need to create your own sour mix or simply use more lime juice (like maybe a ounce and a half) and add a half ounce of simple syrup. This cocktail is great because you can make it perfect for you or whomever you are bartending for. It's a basic recipe that you can elevate.