Blood Orange Mocktail – these naturally sweetened citrus mocktails are perfect for the holidays. Make the most of citrus season with these gorgeous non-alcoholic blood orange cocktails! (Paleo + Vegan!)
You know what makes any holiday (or weekday) feel just a bit more special? A mocktail! (Non-alcoholic cocktail)
My kids affectionately refer to mocktails as “sparkle drinks,” and I haven’t been able to think of them as anything else for a long time. We’ve already shared a pretty Citrus Pomegranate Mocktail, and a cozy Cranberry Cider Mocktail, but today, I’ve got a sunny, happy winter mocktail/sparkle drink that’s perfect for celebrating citrus season: Blood Orange Mocktails!
We’ll be using these pretty orange mocktails to ring in the new year (of course, by “new year” I mean like 7 o’clock on New Year’s Eve. Because I’m 100 years old and #livinthatparentlife), and they’re absolutely delightful.
Plus, even though they look a little fancy, they’re as easy as can be to toss together. Here’s what you need to make the sunny, citrusy blood orange mocktail of your dreams…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO OUR BLOOD ORANGE MOCKTAILS RECIPE:
FRESH BLOOD ORANGE JUICE. It takes about 2 blood oranges’ worth of blood orange juice to get 1/2 cup. It’s absolutely delicious and just a little different than fresh orange juice. The color is GORGEOUS–it’ll range from dark red, to blush peachy pink, to soft pink depending on the color of your oranges. ALL of the variations are beautiful! (See the FAQ if you can’t find blood oranges!)
A LITTLE FRESH LIME JUICE. I love lime with orange, and the tiny twist of lime in this blood orange mocktail makes such a delicious addition. SO GOOD.
AGAVE OR SIMPLE SYRUP (IF NEEDED). Depending on how sweet your blood orange juice, you may or may not need to add a tiny bit of agave to your blood orange mocktail. Agave is a great choice here, since it’s less fuss than making simple syrup, dissolves beautifully in liquid, and allows the bright citrus flavors to shine through. I don’t recommend honey, since it doesn’t dissolve as well and will impact the flavor. Your best alternative is a little sugar or stevia.
FRESH MINT. Bright and fresh, I love what the gorgeous color and flavor of fresh mint do for mocktails! This amount won’t make the drink taste minty–it’ll just play up the freshness of the drink. For more intense mint flavor (which I love sometimes!), you can muddle the mint in the bottom of the glass, swap in mint simple syrup, or add more leaves to your drink!
SPARKLING WATER. Then, you’ll top off the blood orange mocktail with some sparkling water. I most often go for plain sparkling water to allow the blood orange juice flavor to shine through, but you can easily add in a flavored option if you prefer!
ICE + PRETTY FINISHES. Last comes my favorite part: making it pretty! Add slices of citrus (blood orange or lime), more mint leaves, a few pomegranate arils or fresh berries, pretty ice cubes… whatever sounds fun!
MIX IT UP! ADD A FLAVOR TWIST TO YOUR BLOOD ORANGE MOCKTAIL WITH ONE OF THESE IDEAS!
FRESH GINGER OR GINGER SIMPLE SYRUP. Ginger is SO good with fruits like lemon, lime, and orange, and it adds a lovely hint of warmth to a citrus mocktail like this. Grate in a little fresh ginger with a microplane, or use ginger simple syrup in place of the agave.
MINT SIMPLE SYRUP. If ginger’s not your jam, you can punch up the mint flavor in our blood orange mocktail by using mint simple syrup instead of agave. It’s bright and fresh, and really wakes up the other flavors!
USE FLAVORED SPARKLING WATER OR SODA. One easy way to add another layer of flavor is to use flavored sparkling water (like Sanpellgrino, La Croix, or Spindrift) instead of plain sparkling water. Something citrusy or tropical usually pairs well! Or, you can add soda. Sanpellegrino also makes a really yummy sparkling blood orange drink that’s nice, or you can use ginger ale or blood orange soda (Trader Joe’s carries a nice one!).
ADD BERRIES. Citrus and berries are a gorgeous pairing. You can make these really pretty and special by muddling (smooshing) a few fresh raspberries at the bottom of your glass. Or, pop a few fresh berries in as a garnish, instead!
MAKE PRETTY ICE CUBES! I mention this just about any time I share a mocktail recipe, but I can’t help it! Using pretty ice cubes like this, with citrus peel, mint, edible flowers, or other pretty decorations adds such a fun flair to drinks like our blood orange mocktail.
FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST BLOOD ORANGE MOCKTAILS:
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT KIND OF ORANGE? I CAN’T FIND BLOOD ORANGES! Absolutely! If blood oranges are hard to find or out of season, you can use another fresh orange. Cara Cara oranges are a little sweeter than some and work well here. Or, you can use fresh tangerine juice or clementine juice. And if none of those work for you, just go for good ol’ navel oranges!
CAN I MAKE BLOOD ORANGE MOCKTAILS IN ADVANCE? HOW LONG WILL IT STAY FRESH IN THE FRIDGE? You can also mix up the blood orange juice, lime juice, and agave 2-3 days in advance, but I recommend waiting to add the mint + sparkling water until closer to when you plan to serve them, so the sparkling water doesn’t go flat and the mint doesn’t overpower the drink.
CAN I MAKE THESE IN PITCHERS INSTEAD? You bet! See the recipe card for how to make our blood orange mocktail recipe by the pitcher (4 cups) instead of by the cup.
COULD I USE BOTTLED JUICE INSTEAD OF FRESH? I’ve never seen bottled blood orange juice before, but if you can find it, go for it! When you can, I recommend using freshly squeezed juice for these orange mocktails since you’ll get the most fresh flavor, but if you need to use bottled juice, pick the highest quality you can find.
CAN I USE SODA INSTEAD OF SPARKLING WATER? You can! Just know it will be sweeter and more bubbly. If that’s your jam, go for it! We like this sparkling blood orange drink or a little ginger ale.
MORE SMALL BITES + SIPS TO CELEBRATE WITH:
- Paleo + Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Sparkling Citrus Pomegranate Mocktails
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes (we love them with our dip!)
- Cranberry Cider Mocktails
- Vegan Chocolate Fondue
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
- Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
- Sea Salt Rosemary Nuts