April 30, 2012

Recipe 17: Sanguinella (Blood Orange)

So apparently I haven't posted a recipe in a while.  I've been playing with citrus juices lately, and I've been close to posting a couple of tasty recipes, but they're not quite complete yet.  I'll post this one because I'm satisfied with the way the syrup turned out.  I'm going to see if I can get some citric acid to adjust the syrup, and make it super tasty.

I found some blood oranges at Wal-Mart of all places, and I couldn't resist picking up a bag.  It's been a while since I had a good sanguinella, though if I remember right, San Pellegrino has a good one.  Update: Yes, I found some in cans at Wegman's, I'll have to add that to the taste test mentioned below.

So here we have one orange juiced and three more ready to go.  I peeled these, sectioned them and put them in a blender after removing as much pith as I could.  That may or may not have been a good idea.  That bitter pith flavor still comes through a little bit, perhaps it's from the pulp.  Makes you feel like you're eating a fresh orange, though, so if that's what you're going for, then great!

From these three oranges, I ended up with about 1 cup of juice.  I was a little shy of the 1 cup mark, so I made up the difference with lemon juice to add some extra tartness. 

After squeezing the juice through a clean juicer bag to separate out the pulp, I added that to some invert sugar syrup scaled for a gallon of finished soda.  (Invert Sugar Recipe, thanks to Chef Eddy).  Add the juice to the hot syurp to kill any natural yeasts and then add that to your carbonated water.  Done.

1 cup Blood Orange Juice mixed with Lemon Juice for added tartness, ratio depends on desired tartness
2 cups sugar, inverted

Top up to 1 gallon with carbonated water.

I'm fairly happy with how this turned out, it could have used the citric acid that I wanted to add, but didn't.  I have some Blood Orange Monin syrup to compare it to, and I'm waiting for the right time to do a side by side taste test.

 When I bottled this, I was very impressed at first with the color of the two syrups.  Pardon the blurry photo, but right is my syrup and left is Monin's syrup.  Monin's is a little darker, but not by much. 
 Here's a clearer photo, monin is the bottle at left and the one with the funnel behind.

 Once filled the Monin was still a bit darker, not to mention clearer than mine.  Those natural colors do dilute quite readily, apparently. 
As far as taste goes, I have yet to really taste them side by side.  I have to get my hands on the San Pellegrino.  But it does seem like the Monin has a "brighter" orange flavor.  Mine is a bit more "dull" and ever so slightly bitter, like biting into an actual orange, not just sipping the juice.  Still pretty good if you like oranges. 

Update: It's taken me so long to post this, I'm not sure that you can still get blood oranges in the store anymore, they're a bit out of season.  But theoretically, this recipe should work well with any citrus juices.  I have some meyer lemons that are aching to be used in a beverage that I'm planning on trying out rather soon.  We'll see if the recipe still holds up there.


  1. your soda always looks sooo pretty. I wish I could taste some!

  2. I tried making a similar recipe from another site with 100% orange juice and ended up not liking it because it was way to acidic/tart. I ended up bringing the orange juice and inverted sugar mix to a boil and was reading among one of the other posts on here that it may have been a reason for the sharp bite flavor. I am aiming to get something akin to slice/fanta/sunkist/etc. Any suggestions or thoughts?

    1. If it was too tart, you could try boiling the sugar/juice mix a little longer. High heat destroys citric acid, though it does turn it somewhat bitter. Possibly a blend of zest and juice is what you need.

  3. where could i buy some 12 oz clear non-twist off glass bottles to bottle and cap my sodas to give to people. also i would try a cantaloupe soda if you havent yet, its really good

    1. I have some suggestions on my bottle sources post:
      I have not found anywhere that you can buy new clear 12oz bottles, but the easiest source I've found is Corona bottles. You have to get the labels off with CLR, but that's not too difficult. A case of Corona (or Coronita if you want 7oz bottles) costs about the same as a case of new 187mL clear champagne bottles.

      As for cantaloupe soda, that sounds really tasty. Jones' Crushed Melon was always a favorite of mine, though it wasn't strictly cantaloupe. If you have a recipe to submit, I'd be glad to post it as a guest post. See my email link in the sidebar.


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