Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Blood Orange Soda, and the Secret Life of Blood Oranges


Be Warned: This is one of those times I let my imagination get a little too carried away.

An old friend of mine from high school once told me that he loves to find out a girl's middle name. To him it was a mysterious part of her identity that might reveal something alluring. I was reminded of this when I cut into my first blood orange. Considering the fact that I'd seen pictures of the inside of a blood orange, I was surprised at how taken in I was by seeing one first-hand. If naval oranges came from Florida, I thought, blood oranges must grow in New Orleans. I feel certain that they're female, that they have a rich and complicated history, and that I might not want to know all of it. And even though I didn't want to know all of their secrets, I still meddled by squeezing them until they'd been drained into a bowl, leaving my hands slightly stained. And then what did I do? I masked their tart secrets with sugar and diluted them with water, so that when I drank them in they'd be light and pleasant. But they and I both know that I merely put a long, white coat on a girl who's still wearing red dress underneath.
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Homemade Blood Orange Soda
Makes 2 cups of syrup

Ingredients
1 cup freshly squeezed blood oranges (takes about 6 oranges)
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
seltzer water or club soda
1 extra blood orange, for adjusting final flavor
1 blood orange cut into thin slices, for garnish

Directions
For the syrup
Combine blood orange juice, water, and sugar in a heavy-bottom sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and continue to simmer until reduced by about half. Allow to cool to room temperature.

For the sodas
To make individual sodas, fill the glass about halfway with ice, add about 4 tablespoons of syrup, fill the rest of the way with seltzer water or club soda, and stir.
If making for guests, I'd suggest making a large pitcher so they can easily get refills. I'd start with about 6 tablespoons of syrup per 4 cups of seltzer water and go from there. I topped the pitcher off with some extra freshly squeezed blood orange juice to add a bit of complexity and keep some of the natural flavor. (That's just my preference; you do as you'd like!)
In either case, put a slice of the garnish orange in each glass, for looks.
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Serve these beauties along with the rest of Menu #2!
Freshly squeezed blood orange juice. What a color!



 I think God must have commissioned Eric Carle to paint blood oranges, don't you?

4 comments:

  1. Your photos are SO amazing! I LOVE the last one of the blood orange in the drink! And it looks so tasty too!

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  2. Whoa. This soda looks awesome. What a scrumptious drink.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Russell! I went to your blog and gasped and drooled my way through all of your posts. Gorgeous. And a nice read, too. I'll be checking in from time to time to see what you've been working on. :)

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