There's a time in most people's lives in which making a orange-flavored cocktail involved dumping some Smirnoff in OJ (for me, this was up until last week). But orange juice need not only be a mixer for vodka and cheap champagne. Try these more innovative orange libations at your next summer shindig.
5. Tequila Sunrise. With a sweeter, stronger citrus flavor than a margarita, the tequila sunrise is perfect preprandial cocktail on breezy summer evenings. I recommend using blanco tequila and homemade grenadine syrup for a clean, less syrupy taste.
4. Mai Tai. Some recipes for this tikki classic call for orange syrup rather than orange juice; I prefer the latter because its less saccharine taste tends to temper the other bold ingredients like pineapple juice and spiced rum. And, remember, a Mai Tai without a garnish is a naked, sorry sight, indeed, so load up your drink with cherries and orange slices.
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3. Kentucky Hot Toddy. Although OJ is most often incorporated into cold cocktails, the inclusion of bold blood orange juice as well as cinnamon in this bourbon hot toddy makes for an ideal winter drink whose spice and Vitamin C easily soothe lingering sniffles. I'm sure my doctor would agree.
2. Creamsicle. Dairy and citrus are unlikely bedfellows, but in the case of the creamsicle cocktail, they get along just fine. The orange juice and triple sec contribute fruitiness to the vodka and half and half adds heft and volume. For an super sweet version, use vanilla or whipped cream vodka.
1. Andironack/Orange Blossom. Because the Andironack cocktail differs from the Orange Blossom only with regards to the absence of vermouth in the latter, I've included both gin and orange juice drinks as front runners on this list. Having trouble choosing between the two? Well, the vermouth certainly makes the Andironack sweeter, though if you're lean to the dark side, you might try the Orange Blossom--it's the beverage of choice for the killers in Capote's In Cold Blood.