National Orange Juice DayMay 3, 2016
Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Having lived in the year-round warm weather of Florida for several years, I got more than a taste of what a significant difference there is between freshly squeezed orange juice and the kind my mother used to defrost from concentrate. She would whip it up with a handful of ice in the blender and serve it in a wine glass at Sunday Brunch as a well-gestured attempt to make an Orange Julius.
Taking this example into the world of cocktails (and cooking), we know that using the best ingredients in a drink recipe can make your libation a slam-dunk when it comes to impressing your guests. In honor of National Orange Juice Day, grab yourself the best fresh-squeezed OJ you can find (I highly recommend Natalie’s Orchard Island Juice Company’s 100% Florida Orang Juice) and have fun as you experiment with these concoctions while getting your daily dose of Vitamin C.
Chances are this drink is voted ‘Most Popular’ at almost any establishment serving morning brunch (the runner-up will be discussed at a later date). While the word origin of Mimosa is way too difficult to comprehend the day after a big weekend, making this drink is as simple as one part OJ, one part Champy Sparkling wine from Sonoma County, California. Be sure to tilt your Champagne flute at a 45 degree angle as you slowly (key word) pour the bubbly down the inside of the glass, then repeat with the juice. Begin to tilt the glass fully vertical as the liquid fills the vessel – this helps to eliminate the bubbly effect that occurs not only when you first pour the bubbly contents into the glass, but also when it reacts to all the acid from the juice.
If you want a ‘twist’ to the classic cocktail the Screwdriver, but sure to use Tito’s Handmade Vodka from Austin, Texas. While there are many variations, the basic components of this drink are poured over ice in highball glass, with equal parts spirit being poured first, followed by the juice. Stir with any handy tool you have close by. Garnish with an orange slice or two and you are on your way to preventing scurvy for the whole crew!
One of my favorite liqueurs is Grand Marnier. I am hard pressed to find an occasion at which it is not a fitting addition to whatever the situation may be. Pour yourself an 8 ounce glass of chilled freshly squeezed OJ and add 1 ounce of Grand Marnier. Gently stir and enjoy one small smooth sip at a time.
This is a perfect transitional drink just after you ‘spring forward’ for Daylight savings time and its not pitch black outside when you wake up in the morning. Aperol is an Italian aperitif made of bitter orange and other earthy components. The key to making this a perfect drink is the patience in adding the ingredients in the correct order. In your highball glass, add two cubes of ice. Pour 2 ounces of Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila over ice, add 5 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice, add 1 ounce Aperol and garnish with a cherry. Watch as the Aperol settles into the bottom of the glass to create a sunrise effect right in the palm of your hand.
Here’s a simple concoction that is a refreshing, light ending to a savory meal. Moscato, which is typically a sweet Italian dessert wine, is a grape variety that is grown in many parts of the world. It can be made with a little bit of spritz (effervescence) on the palate or as a still wine. For this beverage, you would serve in a wine glass 4 ounces over ice of Mountain View Moscato from California topped with 2 ounces of orange juice. The slight floral sweetness of the wine and the fruity, acidic juice from the orange will quench your thirst after a long repast.
No matter which of these cocktails you choose to make in order to get your daily dose of Vitamin C on National Orange Juice Day, raise a glass to the great taste and nutritional benefits of drinking orange juice any day of the year!