The Blood and Bourbon – A Blood Orange and Bourbon Cocktail

Blood and Bourbon, made with fresh squeezed Blood Orange Juice, Bourbon, Simple syrup and a dash of lemon. Finished with aromatic bitters. Glass by Joy Jolt.

A great combination of blood orange juice and bourbon!



One of the best things about winter is the abundance of fantastic citrus that fills the stores. The bright fresh fruits bring a much needed burst of sunny warmth to the chill of winter, and make for some wonderful ingredients that can be used to make delicious cocktails.



One of our favorites might just be the most beautiful citrus, the blood orange, a sweet orange with a deep crimson color fruit that brings to mind the color of blood! The beautiful blood orange and its deep red juice make it a perfect ingredient in cocktails, which is why we chose to highlight the blood orange in our Blood and Bourbon Cocktail.



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The Blood and Bourbon cocktail in a Carre Whiskey glass from Joy Jolt. Made with Blood orange, bourbon, bitters and lemon.



What is a blood orange? The blood orange is a relatively new variety (if by new you mean only a few hundred years of history of growing) and likely originally cultivated in the Mediterranean during the 17th century. The blood orange is likely the result of a happy little quirk of fate due to a mutation and the environment where it is grown! The Mediterranean is the perfect environment for growing the blood orange, as there are warm days but cool nights, which is where that little mutation comes into play.



Blood and Bourbon, made with fresh squeezed Blood Orange Juice, Bourbon, Simple syrup and a dash of lemon. Finished with aromatic bitters. Glass by Joy Jolt.

Shaker / Angostura Bitters / Mixing Glass / Bar Spoon / Hawthorne Strainer


The mutation is a simple little bit of natural chemistry that results in an excess of an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is a naturally occurring pigment found in flowers and fruits that happen to be deep red, blue or purple, like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries and flowers like lavender or the Butterfly Pea Flower (have you seen our color changing cocktail?)



In the blood orange, anthocyanin is found in big amounts thanks to the cool nights of the Mediterranean falls and winters when blood oranges are grown! The more cool nights, the redder the flesh of the orange, and the more colorful the juice!



Top shot of the Blood and Bourbon, made with Blood Orange Juice, Bourbon, Simple syrup and a dash of lemon. Finished with aromatic bitters and garnished with a blood orange slice.



In the cocktail world, blood orange juice is prized for its deep red juice and the sweet tangy flavor that is more intense than a normal orange. The most common blood orange found in the United States is the Moro, which has the darkest red color and a richer juice that has hints of berry in addition to the common orange juice. The hint of berry in the blood orange juice makes this a fun ingredient to use in cocktails as it adds another layer of flavor that makes this more than just your regular old orange juice.



Blood and Bourbon, made with fresh squeezed Blood Orange Juice, Bourbon, Simple syrup and a dash of lemon. Finished with aromatic bitters. Glass by Joy Jolt.

Joy Jolt Glasses (aren’t these so cool?!)



Blood orange juice also is a natural partner to many spirits, but our favorite pairing is bourbon. Bourbon goes really well with orange and you will find all kinds of cocktails that combine bourbon and orange (like our Earl of Orange or the venerable Old Fashioned!) The tart brightness of an orange enhances the flavors of the bourbon like caramel, toasted grain and baking spices, and brings out the natural sweetness of the bourbon. Add in the hint of berry and the more intense orange flavor from the blood orange juice, and bourbon and blood orange juice make for one heck of a pair!



Blood and Bourbon, made with fresh squeezed Blood Orange Juice, Bourbon, Simple syrup and a dash of lemon. Finished with aromatic bitters. Glass by Joy Jolt.



The great partnership between blood orange and bourbon is the basis for our Blood and Bourbon, a cocktail that really lets the two stars shine in a beautiful cocktail! The bright tangy blood orange juice not only adds a bold tangy citrus flavor, but also brings a lovely reddish orange color to the Blood and Bourbon that makes this cocktail a gorgeous addition to your table!



Adding in a splash of lemon juice helped balance the sweetness. A hit of rich simple syrup helps bring a silky smooth sweetness that rounds out the Blood and Bourbon. A couple of dashes of aromatic bitters adds a bit of spice that rounds out the cocktail, making the Blood and Bourbon one smooth sipper!







Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

Blood orange sidecars in vintage cocktail coupe and garnished with blood orange wheels.

Blood Orange Sidecar



The Blood and Sand



More Blood Orange Cocktails

Blood Orange Gin & Tonic – Lauren Caris Cooks

Bruleed Blood Orange Winter Spiced Gin & Tonic – Craft and Cocktails

Blood Orange Raspberry Mojito – Cooking LSL

Blood Orange Boulevardier – Striped Spatula

Blood Orange Margarita – Mommys Home Cooking

More Bourbon Cocktails

The Earl of Orange – The Gastronom

Bacon Washed Bourbon Champagne – Such the Spot

Cold Brew Bourbon – The Gastronom

Pineapple Bourbon Lemonade – Take Two Tapas

Bourbon Smash – Giraffes Can Bake




Blood and Bourbon

Blood and Bourbon


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1.5 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 oz rich simple syrup
  • .25 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters


  1. Fill shaker with ice.
  2. Add ingredients to shaker.
  3. Shake until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled rocks glass.
  5. Garnish with a blood orange slice.
  6. Cheers!



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22 thoughts on “The Blood and Bourbon – A Blood Orange and Bourbon Cocktail

  1. Oh my gosh that looks amazing. I would’ve never thought about putting those mixes together but I really want to. What a perfect way to in the day. I think I would drink this every night instead of wine LOL.

  2. Such a delicious and refreshing cocktail for us bourbon lovers. I would never have thought of mixing bourbon and orange juice, I love all the ingredients in this cocktail, I think it will become a staple in my household!

  3. As a South Floridian — we are intimately familiar with blood oranges — and I love them. Not only for their puckery aroma but that gorgeous color is just stellar. Do you have a specific type of bourbon that you use for this cocktail? And by the way, where did you get those fantastic highballs? I love them!

  4. I am pretty sure I’ve never actually tried a blood orange. I need to definitely remedy it. Thank you so much for your little history and chemistry lesson on Blood oranges. I didn’t know they were a “young” variety like this.

  5. Yes! You’re so right! When it’s dreary and snowy and gray or rainy, it is nice to see all the beautiful citrus in the grocery stores! This looks so refreshing! And I love those glasses.

  6. Blood oranges are beautiful and so is this cocktail! We always have bourbon in the house but I am going to have to run out to the store and grab some blood oranges so I can whip up this cocktail quick. It’s the perfect way to end the day!

  7. This looks so refreshing, it’s honestly the color. I am a newbie when it comes to cocktails and this makes me want to dive into bourbon bevies. Blood oranges are one of the most beautiful fruits and I can see why it’s popular with mixologist, thanks for sharing this!

  8. I’m so ashamed for not yet taking advantage of all that beautiful winter citrus! This cocktail looks incredible. I think using blood oranges instead of regular oranges kicks things up a few notches and they are so. incredibly. stunning. I’m really bad at playing mixologist, so I always admire recipes like these.

  9. Huh, I didn’t know any of that about how the blood orange came about through genetic mutation. That’s super interesting information! The color is seriously just so unique and beautiful! Love how you styled this cocktail!

  10. YUM! Now this is a cocktail I can get behind. I have orange and lemon trees, but no blood orange – I am sure I can get some fruit swapping action going on in the neighborhood though 🙂 We are having friends over this weekend, can’t wait to whip them up one of these.

  11. You know how much I love blood oranges, especially with bourbon! 🙂 Love the background information about them. I really wish I could source blood oranges for more of the year. They’re really only in the markets for a short period here, and I’m pretty sure I could be described as hoarding them during that time. Hah. I love that you’ve added lemon juice and bitters to this cocktail. It sounds like a perfect balance of flavors. Can’t wait to sip on it this weekend!

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