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The Blood and Bourbon – Blood Orange Cocktail

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Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by Leah Hall

A great combination of juice of blood orange bourbon cocktail!


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! Plus, they 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. It’s 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. Therefore it’s 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!) It was 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 cocktail in square rocks glass, blood orange slice on top. Glass mixing glass and flowers behind.

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

What Ingredients are Needed for the Blood and Bourbon?

  • Bourbon
  • Blood Orange Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Rich Simple Syrup
  • Angostura Bitters


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?)


Therefore, 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 cocktail, with a blood orange slice on top of a square ice cube. Blood orange slices next to glass.

Blood Orange Bourbon Cocktail

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 orange cocktail in square rocks glass. Blood orange slice on top of glass, and slices to the side. Orange, jigger and flowers behind glass.

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

What does Blood Orange juice pair with?

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!)

Blood Orange Cocktail

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 cocktail, orange cocktail in square rocks glass with blood orange slice on top of glass and to the side. Orange, jigger, orange flowers behind glass.

Blood and Bourbon

The great partnership between blood orange and bourbon is the basis for our Blood and Bourbon! After all, it’s 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 orange 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.


In conclusion, 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! If you want another Blood Orange cocktail try out the Blood Orange Gin Sour or Blood Orange Gin Fizz!




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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

More Bourbon Cocktails

Orange cocktail in a Carre Whiskey glass from Joy Jolt. Orange slide on top and side of glass. Orange, mixing glass and orange flowers behind glass.
Yield: 1

The Blood and Bourbon - A Blood Orange and Bourbon Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A great citrus cocktail that combines well with the bourbon whiskey. This Blood Orange Cocktail is a tasty mix!


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1.50 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 ounce rich simple syrup
  • .25 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters


Fill shaker with ice.

Add ingredients to shaker.

Shake until chilled.

Strain into chilled rocks glass.

Garnish with a blood orange slice.



You can use regular orange juice, but the blood orange juice gives it a richer flavor.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 19.3gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 18.1gProtein: 0.4g

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10 Easy Cocktail Recipes You Can Make at Home • 😍 Heard.Zone

Wednesday 25th of March 2020

[…] blood orange cocktail is the perfect combination of sweet and tart—and only five ingredients you likely already have in […]

Amanda Biddle (@StripedSpatula)

Tuesday 27th of February 2018

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!


Monday 26th of February 2018

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.

The 'Noms.

Thursday 8th of March 2018

Man, I wish I had my own citrus (jealous!). Hope you got to try this cocktail out, cheers!

Amy Nash

Monday 26th of February 2018

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!

Dana Sandonato

Monday 26th of February 2018

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.

The 'Noms.

Thursday 8th of March 2018

Thanks so much! We LOVE blood oranges, the color of the juice is just phenomenal! Hope you try this out, cheers!

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