Serious Eats: Recipes

Wake-Up Call: Blood Orange Citrus Cooler

[Photo:Christianne Winthrop]

It has always been curious to me that most citrus fruit peaks in flavor during the coldest months of the year. While oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes can be found year round, the really interesting citrus—tangerines, tangelos and blood oranges—are at their very best right now.

Of those three, blood oranges are by far the most intriguing. The Moro variety is most common in US supermarkets, and its flesh ranges in color from crimson to dark purple. That bloody color marks the presence of anthocyanin, the same antioxidant found in blueberries and cranberries. It doesn't hurt to be armed during cold season!

This citrus drink can be adapted depending on if you're spending the tail end of winter somewhere warm or buried under piles of snow. The citrus mix is bright and sunny, and honey softens the tartness from the blood orange juice while adding a distinct floral note. Top this coral-colored base with sparkling water for a refreshing fizzy cooler, or add hot water straight from the kettle for a soothing non-alcoholic toddy.

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