Kombucha Flavoring Recipe: Blood Orange

Anthocyanins, a flavanoid, give the blood orange its distinctive red color.

During the late winter and early spring months, a special type of citrus begins showing up in the grocer’s aisle.  While on the outside they may look like a regular orange with just a hint of blush, but once they are sliced open Blood Oranges reveal their true nature.

The red color of the blood orange comes from the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, which also creates the red pigments in cherries and the apple skins.   So eating blood oranges will give you all the great benefits of regular oranges such as vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and fiber with the added bonus of providing extra antioxidants. 

Of the many varieties of blood oranges, the most popular are the Moro, Sanguinello and Tarocco.  The Moro, which originated in Italy, has the deepest red pigment but tends to be more tart than the other varieties.  The Spanish Sanguinello fruits later in the season than other blood oranges, and has sweeter, more tender flesh.  Although lighter in color than the other two, the Tarocco’s sweet, full flavor makes it one of the the most prized blood orange in Italy.

Selling Oranges

Did You Know?

Oranges originated in Southeast Asia and due to their excellent nutritional values and great ability to travel have been cultivated throughout China, India, east Africa, and the Mediterranean.

Blood oranges may have evolved independently in both China and the Mediterranean.

The strong Arab presence during the ninth and tenth centuries promoted the cultivation of oranges throughout the Mediterranean.

Oranges were, also, an important commodity of the Roman Empire.

Two specific gene mutations are responsible for turning regular orange trees into blood oranges.  Most oranges only contain one of the genes necessary to create the red pigment.

California, Texas, and Florida are the main producers of blood oranges in the United States.  The most colorful oranges come from areas that have hot days and cold nights.  That is because large fluctuations in daily temperatures enhance the formation of the red pigment in the oranges.  Due to their warmer nights, blood oranges from Florida tend to be less red.

A woman in California phoned the police claiming that her neighbors had somehow tainted her Valencia oranges with blood.  After scientific investigation, it turned out that her orange tree had experienced a mutation that caused some of the oranges to express the red anthocyanin pigments.

 

Blood Orange Italian Soda

This recipe is a bit of a twist on the Blood Orange Italian Sodas you may have seen cropping up at your favorite grocery store. Fresh herbs add a delicate aroma while dried herbs will add a bolder flavor. The savory notes of the basil and thyme pair nicely with the sweetness of the blood orange. Plus the natural fizz can’t be beat!

  • juice of ½ a blood orange
  • 3-4 basil leaves - basil is a good source of calcium, magnesium and iron
  • 1 sprig of thymestrong antibacterial properties, also helps rid the body of phlegm

This combination is refreshing and savory.

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!Kombucha Mamma Sez: “Although water soluble, the red juice of the blood orange can stain light colored clothing.  So be careful when you cut open your oranges.

 

Rock the Casbah

The scents and smells of the spice bazaar are close at hand in this flavor. Clove and ginger add an exotic bite. For additional spice try using black peppercorn, cinnamon or cardamom. Mix with tequila to create a unique margarita.

  • juice of ½ a blood orange
  • ½ tsp of ginger – anti-inflammatory, aids in digestion, and has warming properties
  • ½ tsp of clove – this dried flower bud has long been used to freshen breath and helps with toothaches

Bring the exotic to life with this sweet and spicy blend.

Do you use citrus in your Kombucha flavors?  

Which types do you like to use?

Share your flavoring recipes in the comments below!

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!Hannah Crum is The Kombucha Mamma, founder of Kombucha Kamp, Industry Journalist & Master Brewer, educating others about Kombucha since 2004. Connect with her on Google +
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20 Responses to Kombucha Flavoring Recipe: Blood Orange
  1. Julie Anderson

    My current favorite flavor is Lemon juice and vanilla. My next bottle is an experiment with lemon juice and cinnamon. Lemon and giner is alos good.

    I’ve had a great source of free, organic lemons, hence the emphasis on lemon juice.

    • I love using fruit in season – especially when it comes from a friend’s tree or yard!

  2. I was just planning on flavoring my kombucha with blood orange once its ready. Blood orange is one of my favorite citrus. I planning a blood orange and a blood orange, turmeric blend.

    • Mmm, the blood orange-turmeric combo sounds both delicious and healing. A turmeric recipe is coming soon!

  3. holy Toledo those sound great! i’ve been thinking about making blood orange booch…thanks for the recipe ideas!

  4. Karen

    Try Orange juice, some orange zest and fresh mint, yummy!! Also berry, orange zest and ginger. Make your kombucha batch with organic coconut assam tea, wow fantastic! I am having so much fun!! I have made so flavors and I just started!!

  5. I flavored my very first batch of kombucha with blood orange, and it was delightful!

  6. Marsha

    I brewed my second batch of kombucha using Herbescent Jungle Fruit Green Tea. Then I flavored it with 2 Tbsp. Meyer lemon, 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger and 1 tsp.Truvia. It was very pleasant and mild flavored.

  7. Marsha

    Correction: Meyer lemon juice. This was added to 16 oz of kombucha.

  8. Gay

    Can’t wait to try it with Blood Orange. Your warning about the juice staining made me laugh. When my daughter was younger we were over at a friend’s house who had a blood orange tree. The kids were throwing them at each other. They looked horrible, all bloodied up, and the white trim on the house was all “bloody” too!

  9. I’m so sorry for asking a stupid question but just to clarify, is this soda or kombucha? Are you using these interchangeably for this blog? Thanks!

  10. jim

    Want more fizz in your bucha. Try pineapple,it supercharges it also had great fizz with raspberrys. I love ginger; correander is also very good

  11. Betty Durmeier

    When my kombucha is ready I put it in fruit jars and I cut up apples, not peeled, pineapple strawberries, grapes…(what ever fruit I have) and lately I have added some Welches grape juice,in a jar or two,,,, put in fridge. and drink and enjoy the fruit all thru the day,,I love it!!

  12. Nikki

    I used juice from 2 blood oranges and a chopped up apricot for one of my first flavoring attempts. It was delicious. :)

  13. Nikki

    (That was a 32 oz. bottle)

  14. Nicky V

    Love these receipes! Do drink it right away after adding the orange juice– or do a second ferment (cap and reseal the kombucha and store it in the cabinet for 5 to 7 days)

  15. Heidi

    Hello!are the above recipes for 16oz? I make gallon jars of kombucha how much would I add to mine to create the taste in your recipes? Thanksso much I can’t wait to try them all!!!

    • Yes, the measurements are for 16oz bottles. 1 cup of fruit or juice is a good place to start for a gallon size batch. Adjust up and down from there based on taste.

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