Blood Orange Cranberry Mule is a mixture of spicy ginger beer, fresh lime juice and your favorite vodka stirred together with a blood orange and cranberry simple syrup. A festive holiday cocktail to celebrate with friends and family.
I have always found Blood Oranges to be intriguing. The name in itself is unique and causes an array of questions when one first hears Blood Oranges brought up in a conversation. (What is a blood orange? I’ve never heard of blood oranges. Where do you get them and what do they taste like?)
Blood Oranges get their name from touches of the ruby color found on the peel, but especially from the fruit within. The dark flesh color is due to the presence of an antioxidant common to many flowers and fruit, but most often uncommon in citrus fruit. The flesh of blood oranges develops its beautiful maroon color when the fruit develops with low temperatures during the night hours; the skin can be tougher and harder to peel than other oranges.
Blood oranges have a unique flavor profile of raspberry-like in addition to usual citrus notes when compared to other oranges. The fruit has a distinct, sweet flavor with a stronger orange taste and the aroma is more intense than a normal orange.
As seen above, the flesh color can range from orange-veined with ruby coloration, to vermillion, to vivid crimson, to nearly black. As an artist, I find the different colorations very inviting.
Blood Orange Cranberry Mule
There is usually nothing to mixing cocktails once you gather the ingredients. However, a lot of cocktails call for flavored simple syrups, and this is where the recipe takes on the characteristics of a unique libation in which to savor and enjoy.
Do you buy simple syrups? The pricing of simple syrup is based on the packaging as the ingredients are just sugar and water and you can spend anywhere from $8.00 to $15.00 for twelve (12) ounces. Simple syrup can be made at home for pennies on the dollar and done in a matter of minutes. Just sayin’.
Hint and Tip: To make a simple syrup, mix equal parts of water and sugar. Heat to dissolve the sugar. Done! If a flavored simple syrup is desired, sometimes the flavor can be added at the beginning of the cooking process or after the cooking process to steep. Most generally, the flavor ingredients are strained out of the syrup, but not always.
Blood Orange Simple Syrup
Measure two (2) cups raw cranberries and add them to a non-corrosive pan with one blood orange, sliced, and 2/3 cups sugar. Cover with 1/2 to 2/3 cups water. Bring to a simmer and heat until the cranberries begin to pop open. Remove fromt the heat and cool.
Remove the orange slices and press into a fine sieve to collect the syrup and juices attached to the skin, discard the orange slices. At this point, the cranberries can be blended into a liquid by using an emersion blender or a stand blender. Strain through a fine mesh, discard the fruit and store the syrup in the refrigerator.
For my recipe, I chose to keep the cranberries in the syrup for added color, flavor and a fun bite to the Mule.
Chill the simple syrup for at least one (1) hour before serving, or up to one week.
Gather the ingredients.
Mix the Blood Orange Cranberry Mules in a nice serving pitcher and prepare the garnish. Garnish could be slices of blood orange and lime, cranberries from the simple syrup and a couple of mint leaves.
Fill the glasses with ice and add the ginger beer to the pitcher for a fuzzy presentation. Pour and serve.
Be Picky With Ingredients
When it comes to Ginger Beer all are not created equal. In my opinion, some are not worth the can or bottle they come in. Yes, that is a pretty strong opinion, but if I am going to indulge in calories, they had better be worth it. My favorite Ginger Beer is a brand known as Cock and Bull. (Not an affiliate.) Ginger Beer is a non-alcoholic ginger flavored soda pop.
To make this drink a non-alcoholic treat, omit the vodka and add two(2) more Ginger Beers to the pitcher.
Serving Fruit Filled Mules
If you like, the mules can be strained over the glass to remove the cranberries or the cranberries can plop into the cocktail. Whichever your fancy.
More Holiday Cocktail Recipes from Chef V
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BLOOD ORANGE CRANBERRY MULE
Yield 8 servings
Blood Orange Cranberry Mule is mixed with spicy ginger beer, fresh lime juice, and your favorite vodka-flavorful simple syrup brings a pleasing holiday twist.
Blood Orange Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 blood orange, sliced 1/4-inch thin (navel oranges can be substituted
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- blood orange cranberry simple syrup, orange slices removed
- 1 cup good vodka
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2-16 ounce bottles good ginger beer, such as Cock and Bull
- 1 blood orange, sliced 1/4-inch thin
- 1 lime, sliced 1/4-inch thin, optional
- fresh mint leaves
Blood Orange Cranberry Simple Syrup
- Add cranberries, sliced blood orange, sugar and water to a non-corrosive pan.
- Heat over medium-low heat to a low simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Remove the orange slices, pressing them into a fine sieve to collect the juices and syrup; add to the simple syrup.
- Chill the syrup for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.
- Add the simple syrup, vodka, and lime juice to a serving pitcher. Stir.
- Pour the ginger beer into the pitcher.
Cocktails can be served with the cranberries from the simple syrup, or they can be strained out. Serve over ice and garnish with a slice of blood orange, a slice of lime and a couple of mint leaves presented on a cocktail pick.