Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sour Orange Cocktail Mix



The other day, my lovely mother sent me a citrus-y surprise from Florida. She's probably more obsessed than even I am for sniffing out backyard fruit that may be going unappreciated. It's where I get it from. Well, a generous neighbor of hers allowed her to take some oranges that were probably good one day, but had reverted back to it's root stock, and were now, according to her, seedy and sour. My guess is that root stock is the Florida sour orange, which is none other than the Seville, or bitter orange, the classic marmalade orange. Also, the classic Triple Sec orange. 

I really didn't want to make marmalade (some peels were mottled brown) or Triple Sec (I still have some from last year). I was stalling, the huge bowl of oranges sitting in the fridge, patiently waiting. Today it hit me: the sour taste of these oranges seemed a natural mixer for cocktails, so, very simply, I juiced them, then added a small bit of sugar, and canned the juice for drinks this summer. Although, I won't be waiting to use this. I'll wager I'll be having a whiskey sour very shortly.

I love my old school juicer.
To be honest, I didn't know exactly what to call this. Sour mix, as you may know, is a cocktail mixer that is made with lemons, limes, and simple syrup. For the masses, this means horribly sweet fake stuff, and for mixologists of fancy cocktails this means hand-squeezed juices mixed with sugar and water. I will always opt for fresh squeezed, but when you have a load of gorgeous seville oranges on your hands, this is what you can do to drink them through out the year. I think these would make a fine margarita, as well!

Sour Mix:

Four cups of Florida Sour or Seville orange juice*
1 cup of sugar

Add the two in a large non-reactive pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Sterilize two pint jars, and one half-pint for the extra bit to stash in the fridge. Bring mixture to a boil. Ladle into hot jars. Process for ten minutes.

*I realize that not many folks have access to these fruits. You can probably approximate by using a mix of lemons and limes, with an orange or two thrown in. I used a 1:4 ratio of sugar to fruit, which I think was perfect for my tastes, but you may want to add more sugar. Taste it as you go, and you should be fine.

Seedy!
But wait--there's more! Please don't throw out those peels! I scraped the cups and saved the pulp to make citrus pectin stock. And the peels will be turned into candied bits. If you are lacking at all for inspiration, please look to Local Kitchen's amazing compendium of citrus uses. You will never throw out another peel.

11 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry you couldn't make marmalade--I'm so hoping to find some Sevilles to try it--but sounds like you made lemonade out of lemon, or even better, cocktails!

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    1. I know, there's a part of me that is sad that I didn't make the marmalade. But I just couldn't do it! Maybe next year...

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  2. I'll remember this when my indoor citrus tree fruits again. I'm not sure if they're sour oranges or Rangpur limes, but I think they would work either way. And I love, love, love your juicer! I'm a total sucker for vintage kitchen gadgets.

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    1. Your indoor citrus tree sounds cool! Thanks on the juicer; obviously we are suckers of the same color. ; )

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  3. awesome idea!I have food dye allergy (yellow) so any commercial orange/citrus syrup is usually out of the question...thanks for the great idea.

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    1. Thanks! It's so easy. I hope you stock up!

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  4. Jealous!! Lucky you to have a foraging mom. Drink one for me!

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  5. Julia, I am obsessed with citrus these days. Every time I go to the market there are more strange varieties calling my name. I am such a fan of a citrusy cocktail and I bet your sour orange mix tastes just right!
    -E

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    1. Thanks, Erin! I will bet that you get to see a ton of amazing things in your market. I miss the Berkeley Bowl!

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