Blood Orange Gin Sparkler

Blood Orange Gin Sparkler Recipe


For a good part of the year I have rosemary floating about the kitchen. It's typically crowded in a wide-mouth jar, standing stick-straight, quietly waiting to be called upon. Sometimes it sits on the windowsill here, other times it migrates to the island, or, on rare occasions, the dinner table. I tend to buy a bunch, then work my way through it little by little (you've likely seen it in the background of photos on previous posts). Said another way - rosemary is often in my line of sight, and I'm always looking for ways to use it. This cocktail caught my attention a couple weeks back, and I've been making my own citrus-spiked riff on it in the days since.

Gin Sparkler

So...my initial idea was that I'd do a winter citrus version using freshly-squeezed pink grapefruit juice, gin, and tonic water or sparkling water. I thought the evergreen notes in the gin would blend nicely with the tart pucker of grapefruit, and I'd take the edge off with a hint of rosemary syrup.

Not meant to be.

I walked into a box of beautiful Moro blood oranges at the store, and here we are. The blood orange juice worked beautifully, it added a lovely burst of color, and generally lent itself agreeably to what ended up being a long, bright, winter-time quencher. One that goes down a bit too easily, in fact. As I mention down below, if blood oranges are hard for you to come by, this drink is great with navel oranges as well. I mean it when I say, I hope you like this one as much as I do.

Gin Sparkler

I kept thinking the gin / citrus combo would make for a striking DIY cocktail set-up at a holiday party, or New Year's brunch /gathering. Particularly if you offered a selection of juice mixers. I'm imagining small glass pitchers of blood orange juice, pink grapefruit juice, orange juice, oro blanco grapefruit juice, and or sweet lime juice? It would be a beautiful spectrum. Let me know if you give it a go.

I'm signing off for the weekend. There was a massive fire near my house today, dozens of people lost their homes and everything they had. Luckily no one lost their life. I've never seen anything like it. The fire fighters mounted an impressive and brave campaign to save the entire block - the winds were bad today. And apparently there was a construction crew who dialed 911, then alerted and helped evacuate residents.

My heart goes out to my neighbors.

 
 
 
 

Blood Orange Gin Sparkler

You can keep the rosemary simple syrup in the refrigerator for a week or so. You can do this ahead of time. Also, if blood oranges are hard for you to come by - navel oranges are also delicious.

2 cups / 480 ml water
1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 g sugar
4 tablespoons (~2 sprigs-worth) fresh rosemary leaves
1 bay leaf (optional)

blood oranges
gin
ice cubes
tonic water (or sparkling water)

Combine the water, sugar, rosemary, and bay in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes, or long enough for the sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a jar to cool completely.

In the meantime, juice and strain your oranges, you'll need 3 tablespoons / 1.5 ounces of juice for each drink.

To make each drink you're going to combine equal parts gin, juice, and tonic water with a bit of syrup and ice. So, its 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz gin, 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice, and 1-2 teaspoons of the rosemary syrup in each tall glass (I used kolsch glasses here). Stir to combine, fill each glass 2/3 full with ice and top off with 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz tonic water. Stir again and you're set.

Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 10 min

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Your Comments


Elissa
December 22, 2011

Lovely recipe Heidi----Oddly, I can't drink grapefruit juice (or grapefruit anything), but I've long been a fan of orange and rosemary (or Meyer lemon and rosemary) as a combination. This is a great drink --- very refreshing. Any thoughts about how to replace the gin (although I adore it) if necessary?
So sorry about the fire today; it looked absolutely terrifying. We hope that everyone is fine, and send wishes and prayers to all those who lost their homes.

 

Your sparkler is beautiful. And I love the color gradient. Now if that doesn't scream Drink Me, Drink Me, I don't know what does :)

 

Molly
December 22, 2011

I hope everyone is safe.

Would it be too much of a bother for you to set up some sort of link for us to go to if we want to give a donation? It's moments like this that remind me that a blog can help provide comfort and a supportive community when needed.

 

Amy
December 22, 2011

I like the idea of blood orange better than grapefruit... so hurrah! This looks great, sounds like you combined some fantastic flavors. The color looks beautiful, too.

Ah, and sorry to hear about that fire. I hope recovery from it treats you and your neighbors well.

 

Mike @TheIronYou
December 22, 2011

Can you make it without the gin? I don't drink alcohol but would like to try this cocktail in a "dry" version...
Peace

 

Chris
December 22, 2011

Thanks so much for posting a drink recipe. This one is lovely and your photos are really beautiful (as always).
Your block will be in our prayers - glad to hear everyone was safe! - what an ordeal to go through at any time of year.

 

greenthyme
December 23, 2011

Sorry to hear about the fire. My mother had a fire i her house the day after Thanksgiving last year. It was one of the most frightening ordeals we've been through as a family. Fortunately my mother and brother were just fine and are in the process of rebuilding their home. Prayers to those involved in the fire. And on a lighter note, the drink looks lovely. Thanks for sharing.

 

lauren@spicedplate
December 23, 2011

Strange, I just woke up from a dream where I was living on a farm that had caught on fire -- I hope everyone is safe and that they have a place to be for the holidays.

This blood orange gin sparkler is my kind of drink -- I love gin and blood orange kicks things up a bit!

 

Heather @ chiknpastry
December 23, 2011

Yikes! I work down at Stanford and went straight to the airport for holiday travel, so I didn't hear a thing about this, which is pretty close to our house too! Glad everyone is on, but man, that's scary.

On a positive note, the drinks look great. I have some rosemary sold syrup that would go perfectly with some citrus juice and gin!

 

Emm
December 23, 2011

How funny, I just came across a fresh peach cocktail a few weeks ago that was garnished with rosemary... I was gonna play around with it, actually adding a rosemary syrup to the peach/vodka combo rather than just using as a garnish. Yours looks beautiful, great colour.

 

Emm
December 23, 2011

I forgot to say, so glad no one was hurt in the fires, what a scary thing to happen. Way down these ways there was another two earthquakes in Christchurch too, blimmen freaky.

 

Jennifer Jo
December 23, 2011

The drink looks fabulous (great photos). Rosemary and rhubarb are an excellent drink combo, too. (http://bit.ly/jJ1dpq)

I'm so sorry to hear about the fire---how terrifying.

 

Noelle @ GreenLemonade
December 23, 2011

Heidi! These look fabulous! Ironically I made a tonic of my own this week (sans alcohol and with a cleansing punch - http://tinyurl.com/7ncvjmm) but I have to say that yours looks much more delicious. I'm adding it to my holiday weekend roster! - Noelle

 

Simply Life
December 23, 2011

wow, I would never think to do this!

 

Love this! It's so yummy looking!

 

Gabrielle
December 23, 2011

this looks great! I love herbal cocktails, next up I want to try a lavender-inspired drink

 

Heather (Heather's Dish)
December 23, 2011

blood oranges are so gorgeous, and i love the layers of color in the drink! yum :)

 

Carolyn
December 23, 2011

Wow, this looks great! I saw that recipe as well and have been enjoying it for the last week or so. This looks like a wonderful variation, and it is beautiful :)

 

Mmmm, this looks so good. Thanks for the reminder that it's blood orange season!

 

la domestique
December 23, 2011

Tis the season for rich eggnog and buttery hot toddies, but I love how refreshing and bright (and seasonal) this gin sparkler is. I think it's perfect for a new year celebration. Cheers!

 

Heather (bourbonandbleu)
December 23, 2011

this looks so delicious and refreshing!

 

tikkou
December 23, 2011

really wow i believe that eating is an art. i love the idea .the color is fantastic

 

Monica @ Soirees & Such
December 23, 2011

I love the color on this and I love blood oranges! I just posted a recipe about pretty pink cranberry gin jello shots that would go well with this cocktail for a party. Thanks!

 

Ilerne
December 23, 2011

I adore blood oranges in just about anything but am not a big fan of gin. Any idea on what to sub for the gin? My go to is generally vodka and I suppose that would work well.

So sorry to hear about the fire and so close to the holidays.

 

Jeannie Miller
December 23, 2011

I don't even know you but since I read your work everyday I thought about you when I heard the story on CNN while preparing a cocktail party spread for my Boss and his Wife. It was while glazing a chocolate eggnog cake and I just knew it was near your house. Glad you are OK.
Jeannie in Boise

 

Ruth @ the tasty tRuth
December 23, 2011

I'm so glad we are finally rolling in to orange season. Here in the midwest, it's the only time of year we can hope to find an orange HALF and delicious as those in your blog post. Looks like such a refreshing recipe.

 

Susie Tenzer
December 23, 2011

Thanks again for a beautiful post. I'm becoming a regular reader & admirer.

 

Deanna
December 23, 2011

Fires are always so sad. With the insane winds yesterday, I am so glad the fire fighters were able to save most of the houses. I'm in Southern California and everyone was praying during the Santa Ana winds that no fires started. My thoughts and prayers are with your neighbors.

 

Erika
December 23, 2011

I made the original version for a cocktail party last weekend and it was a huge hit. Perfect, festive wintertime cocktail! Thanks, Heidi.

 

molly@mollysmenu
December 23, 2011

Beautiful photo and writing on this post. I wonder how this blood orange/rosemary combo would work as a base for champagne around New Year's.

 

Amanda
December 23, 2011

Blood orange is just so gorgeous and gin is just so very wonderful, what's not to love in this post?!
I am sorry to hear about your neighbours, though. What rotten timing for them - I guess they won't be looking forward to the break.

 

DessertForTwo
December 23, 2011

Oh my gosh, so sorry to hear about the damage in your neighborhood! I hope y'all can band together and still have a merry Christmas.

Speaking of rosemary, I have 4 shrubs all around my house. Rabbit live under it and I kinda like it that way :)

 

Amanda
December 23, 2011

Just in time. I have the gin, I have the rosemary. I'll have to settle for the awkward-to-juice mandarins that are crowding my back door. Thanks!

 

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
December 23, 2011

These are just beautiful.

Your neighbors are in our hearts.

 

Kathleen
December 23, 2011

I always think of gin as a hot weather drink (with tonic & lime) so this is a very interesting thought. :) Love the photos too.

I am sorry to hear of your neighbours' fire--terrible anytime but somehow more so near Christmas.

 

Yvonne
December 23, 2011

Hi Heidi,

Glad you are safe. Wishing you and Wayne a happy holiday!

 

Ann
December 23, 2011

The sparkler is beautiful and I like that you have rosemary at your fingertips!

I heard about the fire all the way over here in Florida - my thoughts are with those who were affected.

Merry Christmas.

 

debi
December 23, 2011

my thoughts are with these people who lost their homes, very thankful no lives, but my thoughts are with them

 

Paul
December 24, 2011

This would be good for a summer dessert -- a granita or sorbet. Also, a dry version might be useful -- more interaction between herbs and citrus.

 

Hal
December 24, 2011

Put a slice of orange to top, and make it a real cocktail.

 

Jen Stanbro
December 24, 2011

Just in time! I made this drink for the adults at our Annual Polar Express Party last night. It was a big hit. There weren't any blood oranges at the store, so I mixed grapefruit and orange. The juniper, rosemary, bay combo is delightful This will be our go to cocktail for all the holiday festivities.

Best wishes to your neighbors. This time of year should be about cocktails and bells, when tragedy strikes it only accentuates the impact.

 

Elizabeth
December 24, 2011

Fire is one of my own biggest fear and friends.. I heat with a woodstove...My thoughts and prayers for your neighbors and all who have lost to fire.

Beautiful photos as always. Your photos - for me - do more than showcase food, they tell a story.

I shared this post and recipe with my mother who is miles away, though I just returned from visiting. She will be making it with gin, me with some Yellow Tail Bubbly. We both made the rosemary syrup yesterday. I left a sprig of rosemary in the mason jar which is in the frig waitiing for my Christmas morning "mimosa" of bubbly, orange and meyer lemon juice with rosemary syrup.

 

Elizabeth
December 24, 2011

Oh...the rosemary I used - it was a gift from my mother and step-father - from their winter garden.

 

Kasey
December 24, 2011

Heidi, I have clicked over to this recipe about a dozen times since you've posted it. We're out in the Midwest for the holidays, but I can't wait to get home and get my hands on some blood oranges. Happy holidays!

 

Silvi
December 24, 2011

These cocktails look beautiful. I will try them out when I get home. I just invested in a bottle of Hendrix gin and am excited to play with it.

I hope your neighbours are all right. I'm down in Santa Ana right now and we felt those winds the other day as well.

 

Gail
December 24, 2011

Nice to see you're using St. George Spirits gin!! My husband brought me Monkey 47 Schwartzwald Dry Gin from Germany. Will be trying it out in this recipe. Cheers!

 

happilyfull
December 26, 2011

omg! looks delicious! i love blood orange anything & wow!!! :D great photos too!

 

Alanna
December 26, 2011

This looks absolutely delicious. I'm wild about anything rosemary, gin (esp. locals like No. 209 and Anchor's Junipero!), and blood orange, so... perfect! I've enjoyed rosemary G&Ts from Jerry Traunfeld's Herbal Cooking; I'd imagine this drink has similarly bitter-sweet-pine flavors. And what a lovely blush color.

My heart goes out to your neighbors, as well!

 

sara
December 26, 2011

good thoughts for you and your neighbors. so devastating and scary in regards to not being able to expect the unexpected. enjoy a good holiday break from all the goodness you contribute to the internet, sweet friend.

 

CP
December 26, 2011

We made these delicious cocktails last night! We couldn't find blood oranges so used cara cara navel oranges...perfect! We also made up your Carrot Almond Salad. Thank you for the recipes!

 

Cynthia Smith
December 26, 2011

In the vein of the blood orange sparkler, I had an inspiration yesterday and finally got round to trying it today. I took the following (give or take, to your liking):

juice from 1 1/2 meyer lemons
~2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
~1 tablespoon agave nectar

mix together and add about 4-5 teaspoons to [some] fizzy water. Of course, adding a splash of the alcohol of your choice (vodka? gin?) probably wouldn't hurt either. It's very refreshing!

 

Shanna
December 26, 2011

I also noticed the Rosemary Gin Fizz recipe a couple weeks ago and fired it up last night to poor reviews. Think our club soda was old. I regrouped and improvised my own concoction - 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part St. Germain, 1 part rosemary simple syrup. We called it "Pulse Points" because is smells good enough to dab on your wrists. Delicious. Now I have another wonderful recipe to use with the rest of my rosemary simple syrup. Thank you!

 

Anonymous
December 26, 2011

could you do some postings regarding cookware? I am retiring my teflon nonsticks and wondering what's safe to buy. It seems that other chef blog tends to focus on cooking results, and not cooking healthy. You write about healthy choices for oil and sugar, maybe do one on cookware?

 

Heather
December 26, 2011

Heaven in a glass!

 

Lauren
December 26, 2011

Heidi - I'm a new bride-to-be trying to set up my first real kitchen, and you're one of my greatest inspirations. I've scoured the pictures in each of your posts for hints as to what tools you have in your kitchen. I love how you share your favorite items every few months -- would you mind sharing your favorite kitchen tools, too? Where did you get your beautiful old wood cutting board or your gorgeous assortment of bowls?

Thanks for the inspiration!

 

This sounds great! If only I drank gin... :(

 

The Grazer
December 27, 2011

Sounds delicious, will have to try it. I've been a big fan of Negroni's this holiday. Equal parts gin, campari and sweet vermouth...

anna x

 

Daisy@Nevertoosweet
December 27, 2011

Look greats!!! We rarely get blood oranges :) but next time i get some i'm gonna give this drink a shot hehe seems really refreshing and I LOVE the long shot classes hehe

 

Nics Cahill
December 27, 2011

Heidi, I am saddened to hear of your neighbours.
What a beautiful recipe, one I can't wait to try. I made my own sloe gin this year, and can't help thinking it would mix in just delightfully with the orange, and rosemary. Happy New Year. Nics

 

Tiffany Youngren
December 27, 2011

Yum! I *cannot* wait to try this....

 

Christy Majors
December 27, 2011

Made these this weekend for the holiday and they were absolutely fantastic! The rosemary/bay leaf simple syrup was amazing and added the perfect layer to the blood orange and gin. Can't wait to make them again. Thinking about trying it with meyer lemons for an adult lemonade sparkler.

 

Sheila
December 27, 2011

Can rosemary simple syrup only be kept for a week or two? I ask because I have some refrigerated that I made back in the fall. We've had it a few times with no bad results, but now I am worrying.

 

Michele
December 27, 2011

I couldn't find blood oranges so I made this with navel oranges and key limes...it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

 

Adrienne
December 27, 2011

What gin do you recommend? and what's the one featured in the picture?
Thanks!

 

KimB
December 27, 2011

Looks fantastic - quick ask. Do you simmer the sugar syrup for 3-5 minutes or is this in reference to the time it takes to bring it just to a simmer? Thanks!

 

Megan Gordon
December 27, 2011

Rosemary + Blood Orange = yes, please. Heidi: we must get together for the New Year. I hope you had a wonderful. restful holiday at home. xox

 

Nicole
December 28, 2011

Where did you find your flute glasses? They're gorgeous!

 

jackie
December 28, 2011

it looks fantastic! i will have to make it for my mother and father sometime, i know they will love it!
fantastic idea on mixing blood oranges and gin together, i love it! :)
thank you for posting this amazing recipe up!

 

kale @ tastes good to me!
December 28, 2011

When I first looked at the photo I thought, "Ooh, a Peanut Brittle plant. What is that?!" Ahh...rosemary. In a recycled jar. haha Perhaps I need more sleep.

 

Angela@veggievinyasa
December 28, 2011

Oooh what better way to enjoy winter than with a citrus cocktail. Looks beautiful!

 

Brandi
December 30, 2011

I missed farmer's market this week but noticed at the store there was a blood orange italian soda. So I am going to try that instead. Make the simple syrup with rosemary maybe a little less sugar not sure will have to see how sweet the soda is. Will let you know how it goes. Brining it to our NYE party.

 

Adrienne
December 30, 2011

These look so delicious! Here in Vancouver, B.C., we get a variety of orange in Jan or Feb called a Cara Cara...it's a hybrid between a naval orange and a grapefruit with lovely pink flesh. Do you get them in SF? I bet these would be a good substitute if blood oranges aren't available. Love the recipes, Heidi. Keep 'em coming:)

 

Kat
December 30, 2011

Thanks so much for the rosemary simple syrup idea! I made some today and had trouble not just drinking down the jar of it when it was finished. Super delicious!

 

Steve B
December 31, 2011

This is delicious. I made different drinks with grapefruit and oranges. On my second batch of simple syrup. The first lasted fairly well for 5 days.

 

Angela Johnson
January 1, 2012

Made these for New Year's last night. They were stupendous. The rosemary and bay leaf really come through in the syrup and blend gorgeously with the gin and juice. Used some tangerine and some blood orange juice. Thanks for the fantastic recipe.

 

Toby
January 6, 2012

Ooohh...It must be fate that this morning I stumbled upon a video describing instructions for preserving lemons, and then I found out about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanh_mu%E1%BB%91i
I definitely see some blood orange/preserved lemon/chanh muoi and gin love coming my way! I am a citrus lover and am alwasy looking for ways to use the lovelies in new an interesting ways. Thanks!!

 

Natalie
January 6, 2012

Lovely! Blood oranges are perfect!

 

melanie
January 6, 2012

As always, you're photos are so perfect and inviting! My friend and I made a batch of these (with store bought blood orange juice) and loved them!! The rosemary was lovely!

 

Morgan
January 7, 2012

This looks amazing! I will have to try it out soon :)

 

Paul Wenzel
January 7, 2012

We made a batch of this tonight to go with our beans and rice dinner. I think the drinks ended up costing more than the food. A++ would drink again.

 

Leslie
January 7, 2012

I made these for New Years Eve and they were absolutely delish! I found that = parts of the juice, gin and tonic worked great. I did 1/4 cup of each, loaded the glass with ice and used 3 tsp. of the simple syrup...yummy perfect blend and the hint of rosemary was just right. Thanks so much for something different. :)

 

Nash at Plateful
January 9, 2012

These photographs are so beautiful Heidi!

I tried posting a comment on your chocolate puddle cookie without success. Perhaps it has reached its limit! Anyways just wanted to let you know that I tried your puddle cookie and loved it. Here's my blog post: http://nashplateful.blogspot.com/2011/12/chocolate-puddle-cookie-gluten-free.html

Can't wait to try your other delicious recipes this year. Happy New Year!

 

Kimberly B
January 10, 2012

We have made it a few times. I found we like to add a sprig of rosemary and a squeeze of lemon into the final product. We juiced the blood oranges ourselves...yum!

 

steph
January 10, 2012

My husband and I made these together with blood oranges from our neighboorhood's orchard. The rosemary simple syrup is amazing. I wish my whole house could smell like that. This is a wonderful cocktail, and we can't wait to bring a pitcher to our next party

 

nat
January 13, 2012

looks delish - i LOVE blood orange.

side note - i've been looking for glasses like that for a lllllong time, where did you find them??? :)

HS: Hi Nat, I just pick up most of my glassware at flea markets, garage sales, or antiqes shops. These were a recent find.