Blood Oranges

Illustrations by John BurgoynePhoto: Hannah Whitaker

Is there another fruit besides the blood orange that elicits such a pleasurable response just by slicing into it? Although the color of its flesh varies from a striking deep red to a faint blush depending on the variety and where it was grown, the element of surprise is half the fun. The other half is its rich and vibrant citrus flavor—sweet-tart with a hint of berry that enhances everything from sauces to salads to desserts. It even makes for a mean margarita.

Blue Smoke’s Blood-Orange Margarita

4 blood oranges, peeled, segmented, and seeded
1 tablespoon simple syrup (combine an even ratio of sugar and water in a bottle and shake until sugar is dissolved)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 lime wedge and coarse salt for rim
2 ounces puro blanco tequila
1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice (approximately 21/2 limes)
3/4 ounce orange liqueur
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce blood-orange purée
1 lime wheel (optional)
1 blood-orange wheel (optional)

FOR THE BLOOD-ORANGE PURÉE: In a blender, combine the orange segments, simple syrup, and lemon juice and purée until smooth. (Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use; the purée will keep for up to two days.)
FOR THE MARGARITA: Moisten the edge of a rocks glass with a ¼-inch wedge of lime. Sprinkle a good amount of salt on a plate and press the outside rim of the glass into the salt. Chill glass in freezer for a few minutes. Fill cocktail shaker and glass with ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and blood-orange purée to the shaker and (1) shake vigorously. (2) Strain into glass and (3) garnish with orange and lime wheels.

(Adapted from Mix Shake Stir, Little, Brown, 2009.)

Blood Oranges