Friday Cocktail: Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice

In many ways this cocktail was a bit of an accident. Don’t those always seem to be some of the best, though? When making a version of a ‘sour’ I happened to have a few blood oranges in the fruit bowl and started to wonder what they would be like in a cocktail.

The end result is fairly simple drink to throw together, especially if you already have some ginger syrup in your fridge– it’s now my go to after the making it for the Bitter Darling last month, but the other ingredients (vodka, bitters, egg white) are ones that you probably have on hand.


Finding blood oranges or blood orange juice may be a bit more challenging depending on where you are an what season you’re in (their main season is December-April), but it’s definitely worth trying before you sub for regular oranges. Not only is the colour really lovely, but the taste is slightly different (a bit more floral, and more tart), and they may even be better for you. What’s not to love about getting more vitamins and antioxidants while enjoying a cocktail? If you can’t find blood oranges then add a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your regular orange juice.


• 1 organic, free range egg white

• 3/4 oz blood orange juice (or 1/2oz orange juice + 1/4oz lemon juice)

• several good shakes of Angostura bitters

• 1/2-3/4 oz ginger syrup (or regular simple syrup)

• 1.5 oz vodka (or gin)


  1. combine the egg white, bitters, and vodka in the base of a shaker with ice. Tip:  If you think to yourself ‘I’ve used too many dashes of bitters’, add one or two more for good measure– I typically go for about 10-12 heavy dashes.
  2. Add ice, and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and shake for another 30 seconds.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of orange


The result is spicy, but subtly sweet, and wonderfully forth. In many ways it reminds me of an adult version of the orange sherbet I loved growing up, but with a really nice warmth from the ginger and the spices in the bitter. And the vodka- that’s definitely different as well. If you want to up the spice of the cocktail you could always infuse your vodka for a few hours (or days) with some ginger and/or orange peels. I think gin would be really interesting here as well, and I’d love to know how it turns out if you give it a try.



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