Around this time of year the internet seems to be full of recipes for things involving blood oranges. It is citrus season but the obsession with blood oranges seems to be a mainly US thing because I’ve never seen them here, we do clementines and seville oranges and pink grapefruits but my corner of West London seems devoid of blood oranges. I know that they exist, I’ve seen photos of blood orange margaritas that apparently exist only in East London bars. Could it be that I’m not hipster enough for blood oranges? Possibly.
Still I wanted to know what it was that made them so amazing. Was it just the colour? Did they taste different from orange oranges? So when I found some in Lidl and bought some. Turns out that they taste just like orange oranges and the colour while spectacular, is….erratic.This actually didn’t matter that much because I like oranges so it was no work to eat them. However because this month I am working on things I can drink that taste nice but are not booze, I decided to make a syrup with them. If you google ‘blood orange syrup’ or ‘soda’ there are lots of options. I took the juice and zest of 4 blood oranges, a cup of sugar and a cup of water and them all in a pan. I brought it to the boil to dissolve the sugar and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After leaving it cool, I strained out the zest and there it is blood orange syrup.
Basically I made posh orange squash. It’s lovely and when diluted with fizzy water it tastes great, it’s sharper and less sweet than squash you buy in bottles (I refuse to call the resulting drink soda – I’m not American and it feels pretentious!) but it’s still basically posh orange squash and disappointingly the vivid colour of the syrup dilutes to plain orange. That aside I think it would be interesting if you added booze, I think you could use it in a cocktail instead of sugar syrup and see what happened (if you do that please let me know!)