This Blood Orange Gin and Tonic recipe is a vibrant, sweet and citrusy cocktail! Using good quality brands in your gin and tonic can make a huge difference, so I’ve included my recommendations for which ones to use in this drink. It can be made in single servings or easily scaled up to serve in a pitcher at your next event.
Unlike Meyer lemons, which I find to be a bit overhyped, blood oranges are an ingredient that I truly love working with every year. I always look forward to their arrival in the middle of winter. Not only are they visually stunning, but their flavor is notably different from other oranges.
The flavor is sweeter. More vibrant. Blood oranges almost have a ruby red grapefruit quality, if you were to remove all traces of the bitterness and replace them with sunshine.
It feels natural to pair this vibrant juice with my favorite cocktail. I’ve been a gin and tonic drinker for several years now, though recently I’ve been trying to branch out and order other cocktails when I’m out with friends. I’m really boring when it comes to drinks. But I can’t help it. I like what I like.
This is a drink where the quality of the ingredients will have a major impact in the outcome. They make the difference between a happy hour special and a drink you want to savor. You don’t need to use the priciest brands for gin and tonic recipes, but I avoid rail gins such as Tanqueray, and cheaper tonics like Canada Dry or Schweppes.
If you’re willing to pay just a bit more, you’ll get much smoother results, and it’s worth trying a nice version if you’re only gin and tonic experience thus far is the cheaper version. I don’t like that one at all and like I said, this is my favorite cocktail.
A few years ago, my friend introduced me to Bombay Sapphire Gin, and I think it’s very reasonably priced for what you get. Most bars seem to carry it, so it’s what I typically order when I’m out. That’s my recommendation for this version, though there are plenty of other great gins on the market.
Next up: tonic water. Fever Tree is a tasty brand that works well in this recipe, but it’s definitely on the pricy side. A more reasonably priced option that I love is Whole Foods 365 tonic water. I think it’s less than half the price of Fever Tree, and it tastes very smooth and refreshing.
Between you and me, I rarely squeeze fresh blood oranges to make this drink. I usually cheat and buy bottled blood orange juice from Whole Foods (I promise they didn’t pay me to say these things, FYI). I’m guessing there are other brands you can use, but theirs definitely tastes like it’s freshly squeezed.
You get the vibrant color, and no one can tell the difference. I recommend going this route if you’re planning to scale up the recipe for parties.
If you’re unable to find regular blood oranges or blood orange juice, you can absolutely substitute regular oranges or orange juice. Sorry to be a broken record, but I’d recommend getting a better quality orange juice if you go the bottled route. 100% pure OJ, not from concentrate, preferably not the cheapest option.
Make this. You’ll be glad you did.
Love boozy drinks? Be sure to check out these recipes:
- Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
- Cranberry Margarita
- Nutella Irish Cream Milkshake
- The Classic Martini + The Dirty Martini
Blood Orange Gin and Tonic
- 1/2 cup blood orange juice (1-2 blood oranges)
- 1/2 cup good quality tonic water (such as Fever Tree or Whole Foods 365)
- 1 1/2 ounces good quality gin (such as Bombay Sapphire)
- 1/4 - 1/2 lime, juiced (I like a lot of lime; you might prefer less)
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice (or in a large liquid measuring cup), combine the blood orange juice, tonic water, gin, and lime.
- Serve over ice.
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