The first time I tasted a blood orange was by accident. I was working at a museum in Phoenix with an orchard on the property. We were told we could pick as many oranges as we’d like, otherwise, the city would have to hire people to pick the oranges. So, on a weekend I picked as many oranges as would fit in the trunk of my black Mercury Cougar (a car decision I regret). Of course you can’t reasonably consume a trunk full of oranges before they rot so I got to work juicing and freezing the lot. What I discovered while juicing was that some of the oranges had a pinkish red flesh that was sweeter and less acidic than the regular oranges. That blood orange juice was the best orange juice I’ve ever had! It also combined beautifully with spirits and made some of the best margaritas.

I was inspired by my experience at the museum orchard to come up with this blood orange cosmo. My riff on the original cosmo combines cranberry simple syrup, fresh blood orange juice and blood orange vodka.

Blood Orange Cosmo Recipe


2 oz 3 Howls blood orange vodka
1/2 oz Brandy and Orange Liqueur
½ oz cranberry simple syrup (get the the recipe here)
1 oz blood orange juice

One 2-inch orange peel/twist

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Taste, if you want a sweeter cocktail add additional cranberry simple syrup and shake again. Strain into glass and garnish with orange peel and cranberries.

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