Colorful & comforting seasonal recipes for savory dishes, sweets and cocktails. 

Blood Orange Rum Punch

Blood Orange Rum Punch

Anyone else excited to see blood oranges are back in season? They are gorgeous inspiration for desserts, cocktails, salads and beyond throughout the winter. Around this time last winter, I made this Blood Orange & Thyme Roast Chicken.

I love to pair blood oranges with dark earthy sugars, vanilla, baking spices, fresh herbs, other citrus and nuts, especially pistachios. I find them to be a bit more tart than other oranges, the kind of sweet tartness that pomegranate has, but also with booming sweet berry notes like raspberries or strawberries that add complexity to their orange flavor.

This cocktail plays on the tart sweetness and vibrant acidity of the blood orange juice with a combination of white and dark rums for a more silky body. White rum adds warm citrus and vanilla notes and golden rum adds caramelized sugars with a hint of barrel aging. The sweet velvety falernum brings in echoes of lime, ginger, almonds and clove. Grenadine adds a pop of pomegranate tartness to tie back to the blood oranges, the cinnamon pulls in a contrasting spice note and the mint garnish is all for aromatics.  

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Blood Orange Rum Punch
serves 1
2 ounces blood orange juice
1 ounce golden rum
1 ounce white rum
1/2 ounce falernum; I used John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
1/4 ounce grenadine, homemade or high quality; I used Powell & Mahoney True Grenadine
1 cinnamon stick
garnish: 1 cinnamon stick and fresh mint

Combine blood orange juice, dark rum, white rum, falernum, grenadine and a cinnamon stick in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake 10 times, just enough to give it some texture and lightly cool the drink, then strain over a rocks or serving glass full of crushed ice*. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and fresh mint.

*There are a few easy ways to crush ice at home. You can use a blender or food processor, muddle it in a cocktail shaker, use a wooden mallet and what's called a Lewis bag (canvas bag), or you can do what I do and wrap up ice cubes in a clean sackcloth towel and whack it against the counter. 

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