March 24, 2012

Blood Orange Italian Soda

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Winter ran away too early this year. In fact, I don't know if it really ever showed it's face? This week marks the first of spring but the temperatures outside here in Connecticut tell otherwise because it's been high 70's and even into the 80's for a couple of weeks now.

Beautiful, beautiful. 
Well as much as I love the springtime, flip-flops and sun dresses, I didn't get to sneak in a few last minute winter-fresh recipes. Not fair. I was at the grocery store the other night and they still had blood oranges on the shelf so I had to grab a couple and get to work on a drink I have been eyeing all winter long.

Winter or spring, I was going to get juicing! 

Paul and I occasionally go to Stew Leonard's, especially when we want a really nice cut of meat, and I have to admit more than once I ended up picking up their fresh Limeade and their Blood Orange Soda. Who could resist? Plus, they are great to have on hand for instant cocktail mixers... way better than the junk you get in the liquor store.

This homemade soda uses simple syrup to sweeten up the beverage and even though I normally use raw sugar for everything, you are better off with traditional sugar as it dilutes easier. You could also use agave nectar here instead of the simple syrup since agave dissolves almost instantly in cold beverages.
Blood oranges are a winter fruit but as I said, I was able to find them this week in the grocery shop. If it's way past the point of peek season for you then use this same recipe with other fruits like regular oranges, peaches….or grapefruits! You might need to adjust the amount of simple syrup based on your desired level of sweetness if you are working with a more bitter-tasting fruit. Even better, you are now making soda at home instead of buying those high sugar, no nutritional value soft drinks. What's better than that?

Put on your apron and get juicing... it's so going to be worth it!
Blood Orange Italian Soda
Yields: 1 pint soda
Time: 5 minutes

Simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

2 large blood oranges
2 cups sparkling Italian mineral water
2 tbsp prepared simple syrup (or to taste) OR agave syrup

To make simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a saucepot on the stovetop and bring to a simmer. Simmer and stir until all sugar has been dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and let cool before storing your simple syrup in the fridge (I store mine in a mason jar and it lasts me about two weeks or so).

To make your Italian sodas, juice oranges and strain the juice through a sieve and into a large glass. Add soda water and homemade simple syrup to taste. Serve.

*Add 1-2oz of your favorite liquor and turn this soda into a Saturday night cocktail  (see here).

Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño
Recipe adopted by Eat.Live.Run

Featured in: Foodbuzz's Top 9


The Culinary Lens said...

I hear you about the current weather.This is one refreshing looking drink. I am a typical NYC dweller and do not drive but my one trip to Stew Leonard's made me want a car said...

This drink looks and sounds amazing. I bet it's super refreshing. You have a lovely site.

Deelicious Sweets said...

I totally need to make these for myself and my kids! I may have to add some vodka to mine ;)

Ann said...

What a beautiful soda - really stunning!

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

This looks so refreshing and the color is so pretty!

Kiri W. said...

Mmm - gotta love Italian soda! And blood orange sounds like a striking flavor. Well done!

mjskit said...

Winter never leaves too early for me! :) What a refreshing and delicious drink! The color of the blood orange juice is beautiful and you've done a great job capturing it!

Corina said...

So tasty and healthy. I don't know what has happened to blood oranges this year but I haven't seen any all winter. I'd love this with pink grapefruit instead though.

thelittleloaf said...

I've been using blood oranges in a lot of recipes recently too - their colour is so intensely beautiful and they are the perfect fruit to mark the transition from winter into spring. This soda looks lovely - refreshing, clean and utterly delicious :-)

Ali @ Around the VeggieTable said...

This is so beautiful! Your photos are gorgeous :) I'm definitely going to make this with my Soda Stream!

Geri Saucier said...

What a nice refreshing drink for spring. I am fond of blood oranges. Great post:)

Ally said...

Wow this looks so thirst-quenching & divine!

Suzi said...

Gorgeous photos,sounds and looks so refreshing. I could go for one now it is about 85 degress and cloudless. I still have never had a blood orange but I can imagine looking at yours.

signalfire said...

Made with stevia instead of sugar; no guilt! Yum!!

angela@spinachtiger said...

It may be a winter fruit, but you've made it look refreshingly like summer.

alan said...

thank you for a great recipe and blog i grow these oranges in my backyard here in arizona. will try it out with some bbq. i eat jalapenos and serramos and thai peppers use them in tom yum soup-have you made it?

best wishes alan