Spring Cocktail: Spicy Blood Orange Smash

There’s something tantalizing and forbidden about the blood red juice hidden beneath the bright orange rind.  Slightly bitter than regular oranges and a glorious color, blood orange juice is a perfect mixer, especially for Cinco de Mayo.  (Even if it’s a holiday created by Corona and Tostitos, any excuse for a party works for me.)  Instead of making a blood orange margarita, try this spicy cocktail using vodka infused with cilantro and jalapeno to give it that Mexican flair.  It’s red, hot and has just a hint of sweetness.

And if you’re celebrating next weekend, the fresh ingredients will taste great with guacamole, roasted tomatillo salsa or my favorite, chorizo and cheese stuffed jalapenos.


Spicy Blood Orange Smash
1 portion.


3 oz of blood orange juice (available at Whole Foods or freshly squeezed from about 2 blood oranges)
1.5 oz of vodka (a shot)
1/2 a lime
A few sprigs of cilantro
1/2 a jalapeno or other spicy pepper


In a cocktail shaker, add some sprigs of cilantro, a few slices of jalapeno (seeds removed) and lime juice.  Muddle.  Add vodka and stir to combine.  Let sit for a couple minutes if you have time.  (You could also infuse a bottle of vodka with cilantro and jalapeno for a couple days in advance if you have time and want to make a larger batch.)

Option A: Add ice to shaker, shake for a few seconds and then strain into glass.  Add juice to fill and stir.  Top with a sprig of cilantro and a thin slice or 2 of jalapeno (seeds removed).  Option B: Add juice to shaker and stir. (Do not shake.)  Pour through strainer over ice-filled glass and top with a few slices of jalapeno and a sprig of cilantro.


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