Minimal Monday: Blood Orange Vinegar

making blood orange vinegar

Blood Orange Vinegar 7

It might surprise you to know that some of my biggest thrills here at TVFGI have involved vinegar.  Making fruit vinegars, to be exact, and the revelation that they can be the most explosive, versatile flavor tools in my entire kitchen arsenal.   I know vinegar sounds like an unlikely candidate for such praise, but I couldn’t be more serious.  The secret to this Blood Orange Vinegar, like my BLACKBERRY VINEGAR and my RASPBERRY VINEGAR, is the high ratio of fresh fruit juice and fruit pulp.  It’s something you can’t get off the shelf, even at the fanciest gourmet shops, because the processing just sucks the life right out of the mass produced product.  On top of that, what you can buy in the store is incredibly expensive.  It all adds up to one of the best kitchen projects you could ever treat yourself to.

making blood orange vinegar

When I’m feeling down, or lacking in inspiration here on the blog, this is the kind of project that can bring all my enthusiasm right back to the surface.  How easy and satisfying this is — the whole thing takes just a few minutes from start to finish — from cutting the rinds off the oranges and revealing the jewel tones of their flesh, to decanting the rosy elixir into a recycled vinegar bottle.  My scant cup of vinegar will enhance so many things in the  next few weeks, I can hardly wait.  Maybe it will become part of a glaze for roast chicken, maybe I’ll experiment with a shrub cocktail, but I know for sure it will be turning plain salads into something to get excited about.

Blood Orange Puree for Blood Orange Vinegar Straining the pulp for Blood Orange Vinegar

Blood oranges are a lovely mutation of the sweet orange;  they look like regular oranges on the outside, but inside, their flesh has quite a range of color, from dark purple or maroon, to a mottled red and orange.   Whatever hue your particular oranges are, your vinegar is guaranteed to be stunning.

Blood Orange Vinegar 2

I use white wine vinegar because it isn’t too astringent, and allows the citrus flavor and color to shine through.  You could try this with white balsamic vinegar,  if you like, for a sharper flavor.  The finished product has such a brilliant blood orange character that you’ll be tempted to drink it straight.

Blood Orange Vinegar

Yield: about 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 large blood oranges (or 1 blood orange and 1 Cara Cara orange)
  • about 1/3 cup good quality white wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Carefully cut the peel from the oranges, taking care not to cut away too much of the pulp. Cut the oranges in quarters, pull out any seeds, and put it all in the bowl of a small 4 cup food processor.
  2. Whiz the oranges until they are completely pureed.
  3. Press the orange puree through a mesh sieve, using the back of a large spoon to squeeze as much of the juice through as possible. Some pulp will also get through, and that's what you want. Be sure to skim off the pulp that sticks to the underside of the sieve, that's good stuff!
  4. You will have approximately 1/2 cup or so of thick blood orange juice. Add about 1/3 cup of vinegar and stir well. Taste and add more vinegar if you like.
  5. Pour the vinegar into a jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid and keep in the refrigerator. Give it a shake before using, and use within the month.

Notes

When I peeled my oranges I realized that I had accidentally gotten 1 blood orange and 1 Cara Cara orange, so I used them both. You can definitely blend varieties for this.

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/minimal-monday-blood-orange-vinegar/

Blood orange Vinegar 3

Specialty vinegars and olive oils come in very pretty bottles, and when I do invest in them I make sure to save those bottles to recycle for DIY projects like this one.  This slender frosted bottle was the exact size I needed, and it will be a pleasure to look at and use for the next few weeks.

Pouring Blood Orange Vinegar

I really hope you get inspired to make some of your own fruity vinegars.  I am going to be posting a couple of others as I continue to experiment with new flavors.  In the meantime, try this one drizzled on tomatoes, melon, burratta cheese, salad of all shapes and sizes, or, of course, just by the spoonful.

Blood Orange Vinegar 6

25 Comments

  • Reply
    Kathy
    January 17, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    My dad has a small citrus grove down in the bayou area of Houma, La. and it produces so much fruit that it’s impossible to pick and consume each years crop. I come from a very large family and just picked a sack of blood red oranges to create ideas in which to use them. This is a great idea! I’ll be headed to a local store to find some cool bottles to pour the blood orange vinegar that I plan on making Saturday to give out as party gifts at my sister’s 50th birthday party this Sunday. Won’t everyone be surprised and my dad so pleased. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 17, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      FABULOUS! I’m so glad I could be a part of it all :)

  • Reply
    Jeanne Bruenderman
    August 31, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    What brands of white wine vinegar do you consider as good quality. Looking forward to making this. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 1, 2015 at 7:21 am

      To be honest, I just mean don’t buy the store brand, any vinegar that you know and like should be fine. I particularly love champagne vinegar lately. If you really want something special, try O Olive Oil vinegars, here: http://www.ooliveoil.com/store/vinegars

  • Reply
    Elise
    September 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    This looks great. What food does it go well/ cook well with?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 24, 2014 at 6:55 am

      Oh gosh, don’t get me started, Elise ;) Of course use it for salad dressings, but you can also use it as a flavor boost in soups, stews, marinades and sauces. It can go in cocktails, drizzled on fruit. This stuff is worth the price of admission if you only use it for salad dressing, it’s got such a bright lively flavor.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    February 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    What a gorgeous color, this vinegar would be perfect in salad dressing!

  • Reply
    Velva
    February 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    It has not occurred to me until I read your post that I can make fruit vinegars at home! What a fabulous idea. I am feeling inspired.

    Velva

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Yay— I’m so glad I inspired you Velva!

  • Reply
    CakePants
    February 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Sounds like a great way to spiff up a salad! My dad is a total foodie, and prefers that all his birthday and Christmas gifts be consumables…I bet this would be an awesome homemade gift!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      It would be such a great gift, especially if you use really pretty bottles. I would love to see a set of them in different flavors.

  • Reply
    Danelle
    February 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

    This is just beautiful! And tasty too, I’m sure. My youngest just tried blood oranges for the first time recently. Maybe we’ll have to make this together. :)

  • Reply
    annie @ chase that i love
    February 4, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Hurrah! My mom adores blood orange vinegar but it’s sort of expensive. Like at whole foods, 15.00 bucks for one tiny bottle. I can’t wait to make this for her next time she comes down. She will be overjoyed.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 4, 2014 at 8:23 am

      There’s nothing more satisfying than making something at home and saving the big $$$ — hope your mom loves it!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    February 4, 2014 at 5:41 am

    i mean the color could not be more dead on! It is intriguing you made this in the first place and so inspiring that I want to go make it myself!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 4, 2014 at 8:24 am

      I would love to see a lineup of the different variations of shades you’d get with different blends of oranges.

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    February 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Sue, what a fabulous idea! Love it! We use blood oranges in variety of salads and dessert, but never thought of using them to make a vinegar! Genius!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      If you love blood oranges, you’ll love this. And who can resist that color?

  • Reply
    Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living
    February 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    This sounds so good! I have yet to make my own fruit vinegar and always shocked by how expensive it is. Can’t wait to try this.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      I’m floored by what they’re getting for some of them, and I can’t figure out why, either.

  • Reply
    rebecca
    February 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    this looks wonderful

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    February 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Your vinegars also inspire me – they are so creative and beautiful – and you are the citrus queen in my book! Outstanding idea Sue! Are those boxes all unpacked?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks Tricia—I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who gets a little nutty over vinegar. And no, not quite all unpacked…

  • Reply
    Marie
    February 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

    This is absolutely beautiful! Now I’m week in the knees!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

      :)

    Leave a Reply