Blood Orange Snowbird Spritzer – Vodka, Blood Orange Juice and Sparkling Soda

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.

ketel-oneThey 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?

Blood Orange Snowbird
  • 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
  1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice; add vodka and blood orange juice and shake vigorously, 10-15 times.
  2. Fill tall glass with ice, pour vodka and orange juice mixture into glass.
  3. 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.


  1. says

    Have you tried your recipes with our 100% organic Italian Volcano Blood Orange Juice? Get your fill of antioxidants while you enjoy a cocktail…. or two.

    We also have Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Limeade, Lemonade, Tangerine and Volcano Lemon and Lime Bursts. We have a bunch of recipes on our FB page as well.

    We would LOVE to hear from you!

  2. Doreen says

    Yum – I made this last night … refreshing and oh so beautiful! I also thinly peeled the orange peel and have that steeping in Vodka and I’m planning on some blood orange-cello – hopefully it will have a gorgeous red-orange color… the blood oranges are so gorgeous – I love them… and can’t seem to get enough of them.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’m with you Doreen…they’ll be gone soon (if not already) and I will be sad. I had wanted to try a ‘cello’ with them too but this moving business has me putting a lot of things on hold. Please let me know how it turns out. Glad you loved the cocktail too!

      • Doreen says

        I’ll definitely let you know how it turns out – and can only imagine how many things you’re having to put on hold until you’re moved into your new home.

  3. says

    This sounds wonderful! Such a lovely colour and so summery! We could do with a touch of anything other than winter here! As a kid I wouldn’t even try blood oranges due to their name! Luckily I’ve grown up & love them now! Great cocktail!

  4. says

    This is a bright and refreshing looking cocktail. I really hope that your move goes smoothly today and at the end of it (yes, there will be an end to it) that you get to put your feet up, take a few deep breathes and a few deep gulps of this. Best wishes Barb.

  5. says

    I am definitely “in”! Just wish I could share one of these with you in person!! I adore blood oranges too and found a little secret – they sell them at the middle eastern store for a third of what my local grocery store sells them for – score!!!

  6. says

    I do so little with vodka – I should make more of an effort. Weird, because I really enjoyed it back in the 70s when most people were just beginning to discover it. Anyway, I’ll bet this has lovely flavor. I hope the move goes well. Having one or two of these will certainly help!
    john@kitchenriffs Most Recent Post: The Algonquin Cocktail

  7. says

    When I was growing up in Texas we looked upon snow birds as people who not only fled the snow on the ground but they usually had a lot on the top of their heads. Now that I am of a certain age I wouldn’t mind buying a big house on wheels and heading south for the winter. Until I am a snow bird, I’ll just have to drink a bunch of them. This looks great.
    Karen Harris Most Recent Post: Something From Nothing #11: Sweet Milk Biscuits


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