For someone who didn't know you could actually buy blood oranges (aka the Moro variety) locally until recently, I sure am making up for lost time. What started as a nonchalant, "Hey, blood oranges are on sale," has turned into a few weeks' worth of liquid deliciousness. And while a Florida orange is, no doubt, a great cocktail ingredient — and a suitable substitute for this week's drink — there's no replacement for the beauty that a blood orange brings.
The Tropical Turn Up came to me in an inebriated "test session" this past weekend. I've had a bottle of Bacardí Grapefruit since last summer, yet my inspiration to tinker with it was lacking. However, when I grabbed it off the shelf that night, I was intent on making something tasty — and determination paid off.
My initial thought was to do a twist on the Paloma, one of my all-time favorites. Although the result was a complicated recipe and tasted good, you had to let the cocktail grow on you. In fact, my guinea pig didn't like it, at first. After simplifying the drink on my second try, it was an instant hit.
"Write it down," she urged me.
As you can imagine, my Instagram feed is flooded with cocktail accounts. I don't really look to them for recipe inspiration — more so for garnish ideas. One particular garnish that's always stood out to me is dehydrated citrus, which we're using for the Tropical Turn Up. Dehydration is a simple technique, trust me. Dedicate two minutes to prep time, then a couple of hours to cook time, and you have a lovely garnish that's able to take any cocktail to the next level.
Tart rather than sweet, this is a go-to beverage when your next day-drinking session by the pool or porch calls.
Tropical Turn Up
Dehydrated Blood Orange:
1 blood orange (which should yield 10-12 wheels)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Cut blood orange into even wheels, about 1/8-inch thin. Place wheels directly onto wire oven rack, then place a baking sheet underneath to catch any citrus droppings. Bake until fully dehydrated, about 2 hours.
1 1/2 ounces Bacardí Grapefruit
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
2 ounces lime juice
Juice of half a blood orange (about 1 ounce)
Dehydrated Blood Orange, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, add all ingredients and top with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Strain cocktail into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a wheel of Dehydrated Blood Orange.