This Fresh Blood Orange Margarita has an optional smoky salted rim. The fresh citrus flavors of the blood orange make this a sweet and tart cocktail, and the smoked paprika salted rim gives it a little something extra.
OK, I know that blood orange season is just about over, but I had to squeeze in this cocktail before it completely ends. Did you see what I did there? “Squeeze”? Like how you squeeze an orange…? Alright, sorry I’m so funny. I find blood oranges very alluring because they can be so hard to find. I start looking for them in December, which is of course too early, and then all of a sudden they seem to appear out of nowhere. We have a month or two to enjoy them and then they vanish just as quickly as they appeared. The fact that they are so hard to find is part of what makes them special.
I bought some blood oranges with the intention of making a cocktail out of them – I mean, how could you not? And for some reason I settled on margaritas. It isn’t that there is anything weird about margaritas, it’s just that margaritas aren’t something I usually make at home, or even drink very often when out. Tequila is not my spirit of choice, and although I have a pretty well stocked home bar, I actually had to go out and buy a brand new bottle of tequila in order to make these blood orange margaritas. You will have to forgive me if you are a tequila connoisseur, because I just grabbed the old big name brand off the shelf without really doing my research on which one might be best for my marg. If you love a certain brand of tequila, won’t you let me know in the comments?
The blood orange margarita is sweet and tart and gets a little kick from the smoky paprika salt.
You can customize this drink depending on how sweet you like it. I made some simple syrup by simmering one cup of water with one cup of sugar until the sugar was dissolved. But I ended up liking the drink without any simple syrup. It might depend on how sweet the oranges are, the type of tequila you use and just personal tastes. I would suggest making the drink without the simple syrup and then adding just a little bit (1/4-1/2 ounce) if you feel it needs it.
The smoked paprika salt might be a bit “out there” for some people, and that’s fine. In fact, in the past I didn’t even like salt on my margaritas. As I mentioned on Friday, I have been a little crazy about Spanish smoked paprika lately, so I figured, hey – why not add it to the salted rim of a blood orange margarita? I was afraid it would be too much, but I ended up really liking it. The smoky factor was a little much for Mr. Briar, so it isn’t for everyone. You can still enjoy this margarita without the smoky paprika salt, I won’t be mad.
What is your favorite thing to do with blood oranges?
You also might enjoy these other cocktails….
Blood Orange Margarita with Smoky Salt
For The Blood Orange Margarita:
- 3 ounces fresh blood orange juice
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 2 ounces silver tequila
- 1 ounce Grand Marnier
- *optional 1/2 ounce simple syrup*
For The Smoky Salt Rim:
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon spanish smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 lime wedge
- To make salt rim, mix salt, sugar and paprika together and spread on a small plate. Use a lime wedge to moisten the edge of a glass, then dip edge into salt mixture.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients for blood orange margarita. Shake until fully mixed, then pour into glass. I prefered to serve mine without ice, but you can serve over ice if you would like,
Margaritas usually call for triple sec or Cointreau, but I decided to use Grand Marnier because I really like the flavor.
Juice yield will depend on individual oranges, but I found that 5-6 oranges made about half a cup of juice.
Puja Darshan says
This looks gorgeous, so delicious and very creative!
Thank you so much Puja!
Linda | The Baker Who Kerns says
Oh wow I really like the sound of this blood orange margarita! It’s so unique and creative! And I was so sad when I read that blood orange season is almost over! I totally forgot about that, totally creeped up on me! I hope I can find some blood oranges some where in NYC. I totally know the feeling of seeing them disappear and then reappear unexpectedly. Oh and that smoked paprika salt looks oh so tasty :).
That always happens to me! I was lucky to get ahold of some this year. Thanks so much Linda, I hope you find them!
Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says
Yes!!!! Margaritas are my drink of choice and tequila is my second favourite spirit (but only in a cocktail, I’m too old and frail to handle tequila slammers any more!) – and I loooove blood oranges. I’m soooo mad I didn’t grab any this season, I usually have to go looking for them so I guess none jumped out at me.
This looks soooooo yummy though, and I love the use of smoked paprika salt – that sounds incredible!
Pinning and sharing!!
Haha, Michelle! Not quite old and frail, but I agree, tequila is better off in a cocktail! Thaks so much for sharing, I’m glad you like it! I hope you can find some end of season blood oranges!
Sandi (@fearless_dining) says
I don’t think the smokey salt is out there at all. Craft bartenders go out of their way to create unique signature drinks…this is perfect!
Thank you so much Sandi, I’m glad you agree 🙂
Liz @ Ready to Yumble says
May not be blood orange season much longer, but it’s always margarita season! At least for me 🙂 I’ll be tempted to try these with regular ol’ OJ later, but with the smoky salt, just to keep it fancy.
Thank you Liz! I think they would be great with regular orange juice too, let me know if you try it!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Oh how I love Blood Oranges! I wish they were available year round, but then I wonder if I’d appreciate them as much as I do now. When they are in season I try to add them to add the things, but I have yet to turn them into a margarita! Whaaaaa? Obviously I need to do this ASAP and on repeat while they are still in season! This margarita is beyond gorgeous, Meghan! And that smoked paprika salted rim is genius!!!! Margarita perfection, my dear! Pinned! Cheers, lady! <3
I agree, Cheyanne! I don’t know if they would be so desireable if they were always available. Thanks so much dear, and thank you for the pin!
My Dish is Bomb says
I too enjoy my margaritas without any simple syrup! I find that the liqueur balances out the strength of the tequila and is quite sweet on its own. I’ve been really obsessed with margarita rims lately, there’s a chili salt rim at a local restaurant where I live and I’ve been trying to recreate it. I love the smoky salt rim here! And yes to blood oranges being impossible to find. I’ve almost never seen them, but last week they showed up in the grocery store so naturally I also bought some for cocktails! Definitely want to try this. Pinning.
Ooh, what luck! I hope you snap the cocktail you make with them! Thanks Katy!
Aena | Scrambled Chefs says
Your drinks recipes are always so creative! Already saved a couple of them – and this one is probably my absolute favorite <3 ?
Awww, thank you Aena! That is so sweet of you!
jane @ littlesugarsnaps says
What a shame that Ive just been to the farm shop and stocked up on blood oranges in full knowledge that I was going to make a cocktail with them. I think we know which direction I’m leaning towards on Friday night now. Tequila is growing on me. I think there is no better way to enjoy it than in a well thought out Margarita. I love the smoky salt rim.
Oh darn, Jane! I guess you just HAVE to make a cocktail with them! 😉 I agree, margaritas are the best way to enjoy tequila! Thanks so much!
Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom says
Anytime I see blood oranges I think of when I spent a semester in Italy. It was the first time I had a blood orange and after that, I couldn’t stop – I would go through a bushel in a week! So anytime I see them over here, I scoop them up as fast as I can! I really like the smoked salt rim – the flavor combination sounds wonderful! Looking forward to sitting out back with one… or two of these 🙂
Ahh, that is a wonderful memory! Thanks Kathleen!
Blood orange season always goes by too fast! I kept meaning to pick more up and then the last time I was at the store they were gone 🙁 I love that you used smoked paprika on these!
That always happens to me too Ashley! I was lucky this year I was able to grab some! Thanks so much!
Dawn at Girl Heart Food says
Loving everything about this cocktail, Meghan!! And blood oranges are just so pretty, aren’t they? And that rim with smoked paprika?! Yaaas! Looking forward to trying this one next weekend 🙂 PINNED!
Thank you so much Dawn! I love blood oranges, they are soooo pretty. Thank you so much for the pin!
I love margaritas but I hate it when I find out I have to buy a brand new bottle of alcohol to make drinks, it’s such a downer. The smoked paprika is such a good idea, and would make my favorite part of a margarita even better! As far as tequila goes, I often feel like if you make a well balanced one, you can use the cheaper tequila brands without really tasting the difference too much. But patron is really good and a personal favorite. I rarely have it though.
Oh yes, I know people really like Patron. I don’t know if I would really be able to tell the difference, but I’m sure once you get started with tastings you start to be able to tell, just with any other drink. Thanks Megan!
I love the color of those oranges, the ones I got this year weren’t that “bloody” at all. The cocktail looks really inviting, I wouldn’t say no to a glass. 🙂
I have had some before like that too, Adina! You never know what they will look like when you cut into one. I tried to get some that looked red on the outside, hoping that was an indication of what was on the inside. Thanks Adina!
They sound delicious. I haven’t had a blood orange in years, I always seem to miss them. I wonder if I could nap a couple before they disappear for another year…
They might still be around! I miss them sometimes too, they come and go so quickly! Thanks Katie!
Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry says
What a wonderful, original cocktail, Meghan! I now see this is the one you were hinting at in your previous post. I love the idea of the smoky rim. I really like smoked paprika so I could definitely handle it, however I bet this would be delicious on its own for those who don’t like that kind of sweet/salty combination. The colour of those oranges is just beautiful, by the way. Unfortunately they aren’t widely available here in Australia fresh, but the juice is relatively easy to come by. Delicious!
Thanks so much Lisa! That is funny that the juice is available but the oranges are not, it is the other way around here! You dpon’t find blood orange juice much, but the oranges are available for a short time every year. I agree, the cocktail would be great without the salt too!
Sam @ SugarSpunRun says
You know, I’ve never had a real blood orange but now i’m really hoping that I can find some at my grocery store because this drink sounds absolutely out of this world! I love using smoked paprika in cooking, and it sounds amazing paired with the salt for this drink. Beautiful recipe, Meghan, I can’t wait to try it out!
Thanks so much Sam! I didn’t try blood oranges for a long time either, I think because they are so fleeting. I would love to hear about it if you try it!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen says
I will be on the lookout for blood oranges because this drink is so calling my name, Meghan!
Thanks Geraldine! I was able to find some at one of my local grocery stores, but they have dissapeared from another, so they might be getting hard to find again!
Tracy | Baking Mischief says
Those are some good looking margaritas, Meghan! I love blood oranges. They are second only to cara cara oranges in my book, so a blood orange margarita sounds divine. Pinning!
Ooh, I love cara caras too. Those would probably be a good sub if you can’t find blood oranges. Thanks so much Tracy, and thank you for pinning!
perfect!! Wish I got blood oranges here..but this looks absolutely stunning
Thanks so much Swayam! I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure you could use regular oranges if you can’t find blood oranges in your area.
demeter | beaming baker says
So I’ve been totally hoping, waiting and wishing that you’d publish another drink recipe soon. The thing is, Meghan, your drink recipes rock!! And I like them on rocks… Ahem. Well, I just about almost spit out my coffee from laughing at your squeeze joke and I *had* to jump on that bandwagon. Haha. Anyway, who cares that blood orange season is almost over? Last chance to make this bad body. Thanks for another great one! 🙂 Happy Monday, M!
Haha, I just KNEW you would love my squeeze joke. Everyone is probably jealous of how funny we are 😉 Thanks so much Demeter, have a great monday as well!