Classic Blood Orange Margarita

by on March 4, 2010

This is why we love late Winter/early Spring in southern California—–> Blood Oranges! It’s blood orange recipe season and our trees dropping their fruit is our signal that it’s time to eat or drink those precious blood oranges or else lose the precious stash to the squirrels. Oh, those darn squirrels love our citrus and we’ll be damned if they get a hold of all those blood oranges before we do. It’s time to drink!

We’ve succomb to the fact that our garden will never have enough fruit trees. Three years ago when we finished much of the main plantings, we thought we were finished with any more new additions of trees, but every time we visit a nursery, we’re overwhelmed with new gardening ideas. Now, we never seem to be able to leave the nursery empty handed. The truck always seems to have a new garden addition waiting in the back of the bed. It’s always so exciting to bring home a new fruit tree. It’s like bringing home a new puppy!

A few weeks ago, we decided that having one blood orange tree wasn’t enough. We love our blood oranges and between giving them out to family and friends and our cooking, there never seems to be any left by March.

So, we talked ourselves into growing a second blood orange tree and it didn’t take too much convincing to realize that it was a great decision. Now, we have two blood orange trees. One for our friends, family & recipes. And the other solely for purposes of cocktails! The timing is perfect because we’ve been indulging in many blood orange margaritas lately, as well as our classic blood orange sidecar. It’s definitely the season to celebrate these gorgeous blood oranges.

Welcome  home, to our new little blood orange tree! It’s still really small and will take a few years to finally catch up to the massive fruiting that our existing tree has. But we’re very patient gardeners. Until then, our current blood orange tree will be plentiful for the next few weeks.

our existing blood orange margarita tree

Visit complete list of Cocktail Recipes here.

Blood Orange Margarita Recipe

Yield: 1

Cook Time: 2 min.

The acidity of  fresh blood orange juice in this margarita is outstanding. The bright, tart flavors of blood orange makes a brilliantly colored cocktail and not to mention very refreshing too.



1. Rub the rim of an old fashioned glass (or whatever similar vessel you prefer) with an edge of a blood orange slice.  Swirl the rim through a small pile of kosher or sea salt to salt the rim.

2. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake for 15 seconds.

3. Put a few cubes of ice in your glass.  Strain the cocktail into the glass and enjoy.

Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Delia March 5, 2010 at 1:15 am

I thought the Meyer margarita was amazing, but this? This is brilliance! I can’t wait to try it!


2 pam March 5, 2010 at 3:59 am

Oh my is right!!!


3 Jessica @ How Sweet March 5, 2010 at 4:05 am

Margaritas are my weakness. I could go for that right now. It’s 7am.


4 K December 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I don’t know you, but I like you! :P


5 Victoria March 5, 2010 at 4:19 am


Only kidding. Don’t stop. Never stop.

After the WORC Meyer Lemon Margarita bringing a little much-welcomed sunshine into the middle of a long, snow-covered winter, what better harbinger of spring than this WORC Blood Orange potion.

I’m on it.


6 Happy Cook March 5, 2010 at 5:58 am

You are so lucky you have a tree there like that. Wish i loved were you are living.
It would be Margaritta time every day then :-)
I am sure gonna make this in summer.


7 Angela@spinachtiger March 5, 2010 at 6:21 am

Big blood orange fan, sooo envious of your garden. Smashing cocktail. I think these are going on the menu for my husband’s birthday party. He’s even bigger fan.


8 Kalyn March 5, 2010 at 7:13 am

Oh yes, sign me up for a couple of these.

Agave nectar now comes in all kinds of flavors like raspberry, blueberry, and vanilla, so now you’ve got me thinking of all kinds of drink possibilities.


9 White on Rice Couple March 5, 2010 at 7:37 am

Kalyn- wow, all those flavors in agave nectar? thanks for the heads-up, gotta check it out.


10 FriedasProduce March 5, 2010 at 7:39 am

Delicious! Cheers!


11 Viviane Bauquet Farre / food & style March 5, 2010 at 8:03 am

I agree with you that winter and early spring is a great season for citruses and especially these days, exotic citruses. Fortunately for me I can load up at the market (I live in NY)… but having your own tree (wait 2 trees!)… well, that’s just about heaven on earth!
So what will I be making for our aperitifs tonight? You guessed it… Blood Orange Margarita! Thank you for the great recipe, the fabulous pictures and the dreamy post…


12 Katie @ goodLife {eats} March 5, 2010 at 8:13 am

You are so lucky to have blood orange trees in your garden. Beautiful!


13 bunkycooks March 5, 2010 at 8:18 am

Oh, how beautiful (both the tree and the margarita!). How wonderful to have blood oranges right in your own backyard. I am sooo wanting to move somewhere warm! The pictures are gorgeous!


14 Heather @ (The Single Dish) March 5, 2010 at 8:36 am

Blood oranges are my favorite! Great drink, I also love blood orange martinis!


15 Janet March 5, 2010 at 8:42 am

I am so jealous of your fruit trees and sunshine and warm weather! We still have mounds of snow in our front yard. I could use a margarita! These look great. Maybe I can get my in-laws in California to send me a case. That would help me get through until Spring, I think.


16 Phoo-D March 5, 2010 at 10:33 am

Wow! We are totally on the same wave length. I recently made a blood orange mai tai that was to die for. Mixing the juice into a margarita sounds terrific! Your trees are beautiful. I think I have a little warm-weather citrus-in-the-backyard envy =).


17 The Wind Attack March 5, 2010 at 11:59 am

Man am I jealous of your blood orange tree. I’ve been equally obsessed with them this season too. I bring one with me to work every day for 4pm blood orange snack time. I made blood orange mimosa a few weeks ago and that was pretty good. That margarita looks really gorgeous!


18 David March 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I like the way you have it pruned – much more interesting that a single trunk. Is your second tree the same variety as the first? Here in Houston, Moro blood oranges seem to taste/do better.


19 White on Rice Couple March 5, 2010 at 6:53 pm

David – Yes, both blood orange trees are Moro! We love the Moro variety of blood oranges.


20 Leah March 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Would love to have a blood orange tree to keep my Meyer lemon and lime trees company, but have totally run out of planting space. Do you know if they can be successfully grown in large containers, or do they need more room to thrive?


21 White on Rice Couple March 5, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Leah- we’ve seen them grow well in containers and do bear some fruit. As long as they get full sun, the fruit should set. But please consult your local nursery to make sure. Good luck!


22 nicole spaz March 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm

After work I went to our local whole foods and bought blood oranges. I juiced mine but I did the extra step of straining my juice because it seemed a bit pulpy.
I dedicate this polite little buzz to the two of you.


23 White on Rice Couple March 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Nicole- yay! thank you for the honor!


24 Divina March 6, 2010 at 4:51 am

They are absolutely “Oh my”. I’m sure you wouldn’t trade this blood orange tree with one of our mango trees. And wow, the color is so vibrant.


25 Clare @ Mrs Multitasker March 6, 2010 at 6:25 am

Hello! Every picture you put on your blog is just gorgeous =)
And I wanted to say a big thank you for your video on using speedlights. A friend kindly gave me his old one for free a couple weeks ago, and I’ve been using it all wrong. I have a much better idea what to do now cos of your video and I’m excited for my next food post!


26 Yogi March 6, 2010 at 7:37 am

Hey folks,

I made these for dinner last night with my wife and brother and sister-in-law, and they were a HUGE hit. Thanks a bunch for the recipe!

We’re now plotting other citrus margs withe same idea. I’ll let you know how it turns out!



27 White on Rice Couple March 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Yogi- yay! definitely try it with grapefruit!


28 Stephanie Manley March 6, 2010 at 7:55 am

So after making those blood orange caramels from we now have a cocktail. Love this. This is going to show up at my next cocktail party.


29 Cookin' Canuck March 6, 2010 at 8:38 pm

“Oh my” is right! How envious I am of your citrus trees. I have only tried blood oranges on occasion, but I can imagine they make a fantastic margarita.


30 Girl Japan March 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

That’s pretty far out that you have your own tree.. I’d love a lemon tree, paying 400 yen for a lemon… eeek…


31 jenjenk March 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Oh good! i came to the site SPECIFICALLY to look for this recipe. This is AWESOME!! I’ve been craving this for the past 3 days straight.


32 megan March 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

I know what I am making this friday evening! Cheers….


33 Lori Lynn March 8, 2010 at 10:41 am

I feel the same about a new tree. One of my dwarf magnolias has died and I am going to replace it with fruit, haven’t decided which one yet.
See you next Monday!


34 White on Rice Couple March 10, 2010 at 7:39 am

Lori- yay! see ya on Monday, look forward to it.


35 Lori @ RecipeGirl March 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Lucky you. I definitely need a blood orange margarita tree!!


36 Dawn (KitchenTravels) March 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm

So yeah, of course the cocktail looks great. But what I REALLY want is your GARDEN! I told my husband recently that I have plans to add at least two fruit trees to our front yard, along with a raised bed or three. He thinks I’ve gone a little garden crazy… and he’s probably right. But nobody ever said I couldn’t plant a garden in my front yard. :)


37 Tokyo Terrace March 8, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Such gorgeous fruit! I am totally craving one of these right now, especially since we are moving into an apartment with a patio soon! (Patios are kind of rare in Tokyo, so we are really excited to start enjoying some cocktails out there come warmer weather) Thanks for the gorgeous recipe as always!


38 Food Woolf March 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm

cool! You got the agave syrup. It makes such a big difference in flavor, no? The agave gives it such a perfectly balanced combination of sweetness. Can’t wait to have the last bit of our T&D blood oranges this way!


39 White on Rice Couple March 10, 2010 at 7:39 am

Foodwoolf- thanks for the agave syrup suggestion!


40 TJ March 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I am the head bartender at “the living room on main” in Dunedin,FL and I have had the Blood orange Marg on my specialty drink menu for awhile. I make mine top shelf and served up. It is a fantastic drink to serve!!


41 White on Rice Couple March 10, 2010 at 7:41 am

TJ- definitely fantastic. thanks for the idea of using top shelf, we shall try that as well!


42 Julie March 10, 2010 at 10:56 am

OH MY is right! Yowzah. I may have to arrange a get together in order to have an excuse to make these, instead of the other way around! Wow. Brilliant!


43 Patty March 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm

I love margaritas but I’ve never had a blood orange one before, can’t wait to try it out!


44 zara March 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Yummy! I wouldn’t mind a drink right about NOW! ;)


45 phocavitulina March 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Those oranges look marvelous, really juicy- the last time I bought organic blood oranges they were dry (but I don’t live in CA :-(.. Last year I made blood orange-whiskey marmalade, and yes it had the same fabulous colour as your drink!!!


46 Allison April 6, 2010 at 10:33 am

I love this spin on the margarita! Makes me want one even though it’s the middle of the day and I’m at work!


47 Jonny April 28, 2010 at 8:38 am

I reminded of the blood oranges that you guys sent us way back when that we made blood orange margaritas with! Happy (drunken) days!


48 Shauna D May 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm

OMG! Just finished one of these and LOVE! Thank you for this marvelous recipe and the perfect end to Cinco de Mayo!


49 Christopher Youngblood May 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

SALT! It’s the most under-played-with element of the margarita, but incredibly worthwhile. Here’s what you do: (1) Microplane blood orange zest
(2) Get three different salts: flake, black, and himalayan (or, said differently, flake-crystal salt, large-crystal salt, and small-crystal salt)
(3) Mix those components together to salt the rim

The other big thing is what you’re using to wet the rim. A thick sugar-syrup made with blood orange zest will give you richness, body and depth (a peeler works fine to get the zest without getting pith). An acidic reduction made from the juice of slightly under-ripe oranges will give you zing. Just some thoughts :) Beautiful pictures and man, oh, man, I’m jealous of your climate!


50 V Patricia Smith January 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

I just bought my first blood orange yesterday. I’ve seen lots of receipes and pretty pictures with things made with them. Well, I’m excited! I only bought 2 because they are sooo expensive. But I came home and just wondered what I would do with them – Of course a cocktail came to mind and was my first choice. In goggling for ideas, I came across your blog. I’m so jealous that you have your own tree : ) It’s Friday and time for my own personal Happy Hour (See blog but I’m sure that my first blood orange experience will be on my blog in a few weeks.

Enjoy your post . . .Pat


51 Sarah March 9, 2012 at 7:32 am

Looks fantastic and tasty! Can I use blood orange soda in place of the blood orange juice? Can’t find blood oranges here in the city.



52 White on Rice Couple March 9, 2012 at 7:55 am

A blood orange soda would change it quite a bit, but you could use the soda and experiment with making a blood orange margarita spritzer. Still tasty.


53 @apartment_34 July 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm

In just a little over 24 hours I will be on a plane and that much closer to one of these! #HawaiianVacation


54 Jace Shoemaker-Galloway November 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm

You made the news! Thanksgiving Cocktails: Drink & Be Merry with 17 Festive Drinks for the Holidays that Even Scrooge Would Love!


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