When I got given a box of Red Belly blood oranges, the first thing that came in to my mind was ‘cocktail’. The second thing that came to my mind was ‘gin and tonic’ – my favourite drink. Recently my favourite gin and tonics have included herbs, and I knew straight away that the pairing of blood orange and rosemary would be phenomenal! However, thanks to my recent surgery, I cannot drink alcohol at the moment. Boooo!
A friend made me a lime and mint cordial a little while ago, as I am not able to drink the store-bought cordials (thanks to their high levels of sulphur, which I am allergic to), and I decided to tweak the recipe for my blood orange and rosemary vision. And I’m pretty happy with the result!
The cordial has a sweet flavour, but a herby aftertaste – it is fresh and lingers in your mouth. If you can drink alcohol, I reckon this would be great with some gin and maybe a little tonic to give it some fizz. Or vodka. Or tequila.
- Zest of one blood orange (you can make this as fine or thick as you want – depends how lazy you’re feeling)
- 1 cup blood orange juice (about 3 blood oranges)
- ¼ – ½ cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like it (you can use any kind – I used castor, but halfway through thought it would be great to use brown sugar…whatever you have on hand will work)
- 3 cups water
- Several sprigs of fresh rosemary
In a small saucepan bring to a boil the sugar, one cup of water, a good amount of rosemary and the blood orange zest. Once the sugar is dissolved (which it should be by the time the water boils), remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. The flavours will infuse in this time, so the longer left the better.
Add your desired amount of rosemary in to a serving jug. Place a strainer over the jug and pour in the blood orange juice and the sugar syrup, straining out the blood orange zest. Add 2 cups of water.
You can drink this straight, although I found it a tad sweet for my preference – so I added a little bit of extra water.