All signs point to it being citrus season around here. Everywhere I look, there are tangerines and clementines and pomelos (oh my?). I love it. There’s just something so fresh about the taste and smell of citrus. And, the fact that so much of it is grown locally is a total bonus. This week, my favorite produce stand was practically spilling over with grapefruit and orange displays. It was beautiful.
One of my favorite citrus fruits is the blood orange. Have you ever had one?
They’re absolutely gorgeous, with a dark orange-red peel and thick, red juice. They have a more interesting flavor than a typical orange. Blood orange juice is sort of a darker, less sweet, more tart flavor.
It, conveniently, lends itself very well to a cocktail.
Actually, I feel like I can still taste a blood orange mimosa I had on our honeymoon. A mid-morning brunch we had when we were on Maui is one of my most vivid memories from the trip. There was an open-air restaurant – overlooking both a golf course and the pacific ocean, smoked salmon eggs benedict, the most perfect roasted potatoes, a warm breeze, my new husband, blood orange mimosas…
Sorry, I’m sidetracked. Where was I?
Right. Blood oranges.
Today, since I’m celebrating citrus, and because it’s winter, let’s make a nice, warm mulled wine, what do you say? And, while we’re at it, let’s fortify it with our mysterious and delicious blood oranges, some Grand Marnier to punch up the orange flavor, and some cinnamon sticks to spice everything ever so slightly. This drink will warm you inside and out.
Oh, if I could offer one tip before I go? Wear an apron. Blood orange juice is only gorgeous when it’s in your mulled wine. It is definitely not gorgeous when it’s on your favorite shirt.
- 6 blood oranges
- 1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine
- ¼ cup Grand Marnier
- 1 T. honey (more if you like it sweeter)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- Remove the peel from three of the oranges. Set the peel aside and juice all six of the oranges (you should end up with about 1 ½ cups of juice).
- Pour the wine into a large pot. Add the blood orange juice, orange peels, Grand Marnier, honey, and cinnamon sticks. Stir to combine.
- Bring the wine to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain into a pitcher. Serve warm.