Snowbird: A northerner who moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.
It’s springtime in the Rockies and we’ve had more snow lately than we’ve seen all winter long so I’m calling this cocktail the Blood Orange Snowbird because, like the folks who head south for the winter to warmer climates, I’m about ready to go too and this light, beautiful and citrusy cocktail will travel with me! While those of us up in the air (We really are a Mile High in Denver) may celebrate the first day of spring with the rest of the country; we really can’t count on it until a month later. It’s a fractious time of year…60 degrees one day and a blizzard the next. Fun.
I decided to make this cocktail to commemorate that day with the juice of my favorite citrus from the warmer climate of Florida and pretend I’m basking in sunshine while I sip this libation.
I do love blood oranges; I’ve heard that some folks are turned off by them because of the name; please don’t let that happen to you! Did you know Sangria is derived from the word Sangre which means blood in Spanish; would you not drink that magical wine and fruit concoction if it was called Blood Wine Punch? How about we start a campaign to name them Sangria Oranges; that would be a great name and they are most definitely a great addition to wine and other mixed beverages. I think they are absolutely beautiful beyond compare.
They are not just a pretty face. Along with that gorgeous red color, their juice is also sweeter than the juice of regular oranges; of course that I love them so much is why they are only available for a short season; a surefire Murphy’s Law moment if you ask me! When their season is over, I try to make do with Blood Orange Sparkling Soda but even better? Combining the two makes for a lovely and refreshing drink; a mocktail in it’s simplicity; adding some Ketel One Vodka will see it come over to the cocktail side. Easy peasy. Just what I need right now!
Bet you didn’t know that Ketel One is named after the company’s original copper pot still “Distilleerketel #1′ and that the family to makes the vodka, the Nolet family, has been distilling spirits since 1691. I admit I didn’t either!
Clear as rainwater, the bouquet doesn’t reach up and grab you as some vodkas might; it offers both a mild spirit combined with a grainy richness. It is subtly citrusy and moderately sweet while being complex enough that I’ll use it for most of my vodka needs. It was perfect in this cocktail; definitely adding a classy touch but not a burning fire…remember this is a springtime libation, not a summer one!
Sweet, tart, sparkling and vodka? Perfect I say! Today happens to be a gorgeous spring day…let’s celebrate with this equally gorgeous drink. You in?
- 2 oz vodka
- 2 oz blood orange juice, fresh squeezed (sub other oranges if blood oranges out of season)
- Italian Blood Orange Sparkling Soda (I get mine from Sprouts)
- Lemon slice
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice; add vodka and blood orange juice and shake vigorously, 10-15 times.
- Fill tall glass with ice, pour vodka and orange juice mixture into glass.
- Fill the glass with blood orange sparkling soda, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into glass, stir and garnish with slice.
I was provided with a bottle of Ketel One for this recipe however all opinions are my own.