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Apr 14, 2014

5 Easy to Make Cocktail Ingredients Using Blood Orange

At first glance, a cocktail recipe calling for an infused vodka or seasonal shrub might appear too far out of reach. But, if you're a budding home bartender, you will not believe how easy these cocktail ingredients are to prepare, they will launch your cocktails to the next level and each one only takes a few minutes to prepare!

We keep it simple by using one star ingredient for all five of our recipes. It's almost the end of Blood Orange season but it's by far the most popular time to use them in recipes. If you're unfamiliar with these beauties, they have the tang of a navel orange with the floral notes of a tangerine. The thing that makes them truly special is the exquisite colour inside. They can be somewhat acidic and so they're not quite as popular for eating out of hand, but it's for this reason that they have the perfect profile for our cocktail ingredients.

Every home bartender can make these!

1. Bitters

2. Vodka

3. Syrup

4. Shrub

5. Cordial

1.Blood Orange Bitters

These bitters are just a combination of blood orange vodka (see recipe #2) and wild cherry bark bittering agent, the bark is found at the herbalist, the same place you found the cinchona bark for your tonic syrup.

1/4 C Blood Orange Vodka
1/8 C Wild Cherry Bark bitterant

Shelf stable, keep in a small glass jar, a recycled jam jar will work 

1/4 C wild cherry bark
3/4 C vodka

Combine in 500 ml jar, (the extra space in the jar is needed for the bark to expand), set in a cool dark place for one week to one month, [you can keep adding more vodka over time (longer = more bitterness)], strain and store, it's shelf stable.

I keep all of my bittering agents  and components separate, only ever blending the final product. 

2. Blood Orange Vodka

You might want to make a few jars of this one. The vodka is used in two of the other recipes. I particularly love the colour it lends to a drink.

1 blood orange, sliced
1 C vodka

Combine in 500 ml jar, set in a cool dark place for one week, discard orange slices, strain vodka, store in the same jar

3. Blood Orange Syrup

Flavoured syrups offer an opportunity to build extra flavour into any cocktail that calls for simple syrup.  

3 blood oranges, juiced, reserve juice and shells
2 C sugar
1 C water
1/4 tsp salt

Optional, additional awesomeness: 1/4 tsp citric acid to brighten flavour and increase shelf life.

In a heavy bottom sauce pot, over medium heat bring sugar and water to the boil. Add shells and reduce heat to low, simmer for 20 mins. Remove from heat, cool and fine strain. Add juice and salt, stir and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

4. Blood Orange Shrub

Shrubs are a great way of adding acidity to a cocktail, they're delicious, unusual (friends will be very impressed) and so simple.

1/3 C fresh blood orange juice
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C red wine vinegar

Combine juice and sugar stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, add vinegar. Store in a glass jar, this one is shelf stable and will even get better with time.

5. Blood Orange Cordial

This isn't my usual method for making cordials but in the interest of saving time and since you just made these two recipes, you might as well...

1/2 C Blood Orange Vodka
1/4 C Blood Orange Syrup

Combine and store, it will last on the shelf but will do even better in the fridge.

Did you try any or all of these? Did you use them in an existing recipe? Let me know how it turned out!


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