Orange juice is an essential element to any well-stocked bar, there is no question about that. Without it, you cannot make a Screwdriver, a Bronx Cocktail, a Mimosa, or even a Tequila Sunrise. Orange is a versatile fruit flavor and the more drinks you mix up, the more you will realize the importance of both the juice and the many orange liqueurs used in the bar.
The Key to the Best Orange Juice Cocktails
If you want the best orange juice cocktails possible, squeeze the juice yourself. There are... many fruit and citrus juicers available to fit any need and oranges are inexpensive year-round, so you cannot go wrong.
On the other hand, the reality is that you're not always going to take the time to squeeze the fresh orange juice. It is a world filled with convenience and there are some great bottles of orange juice available. In this case, do your best to choose an all-natural, not-from-concentrate juice.
Either way you choose to go, keep in mind that your choice of orange juice should not be an afterthought. Any of the cocktails that rely on this ingredient will be just a little bit better if you start with a quality juice.
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The Screwdriver is one of the iconic orange juice cocktails. It is the ultimate brunch drink and unbelievably easy to mix up. Even though it is nothing more than vodka and orange juice, it has inspired many other drinks.
The Bocce Ball is one of those recipes. This delightful drink is just as refreshing and adds a little amaretto to the mix to give the background a sweet almond flavor.
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A very fun retro drink from the 70's, the Harvey Wallbanger is a whole lot of fun. It also plays off that Screwdriver base, though it's just a little fancier and requires one simple bar trick.
The key to this simple highball is a float of Galliano L'Autentico, an herbal liqueur dominated by vanilla and anise flavors. You can use it to practice your layering skills and, if you switch to tequila, you have a Freddy Fuddpucker.
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Right behind the Screwdriver in popularity comes the famous Tequila Sunrise. This familiar mixed drink has also inspired a number of other drinks, all with that signature sunrise effect.
The Sour Sunrise is a fancier cocktail that elevates the sunrise to new levels. Rather than tequila, this recipe pours a shot of bourbon and adds lemon juice and simple syrup, serving it "up" in high-class martini style.
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If you skip the triple sec in the mimosa, you will have the classic cocktail known as the Buck's fizz. It's lovely, refreshing and works perfectly with any sparkling wine you happen to have at the moment.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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This bourbon cocktail should be considered a modern classic. It was, for a time, the official cocktail of the Belmont Stakes and part of the Triple Crown of cocktails before it was replaced by the Belmont Jewel.
The Belmont Breeze is no ordinary whiskey and OJ cocktail, though. It builds layers of fascinating flavors in a tall glass, including sherry, lemon, orange, and cranberry. The mint leaves finish off the flavor profile with perfection, leaving you with an extraordinary drink.
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A popular variation on the Paloma, the Cantarito is a tequila cocktail that is not to be missed. It is tart, refreshing and an amplified version of it's better-known cocktail cousin and you're going to love it.
This recipe combines the three major citrus fruits we use in the bar: lemon, lime and orange. An equal pour of all three juices are backed by a great tequila. Top that with a grapefruit soda to create a fascinating drink that will tantalize your taste buds.
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The Creamsicle is simply a fun mixed drink. The taste resembles those ice cream treats we enjoyed as kids and that is why this has been a favorite cocktail for decades.
This was one of the first recipes to feature vanilla vodka. Back then, vanilla was one of the few flavored vodkas around. Today, however, many people enjoy it with whipped cream vodka. Either way, it is a yummy, very simple cocktail that's hard to resist.
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A simple mixed drink that also builds off the ease of the Screwdriver, the Madras is another icon of the fruity vodka highball family. This is a "trio" cocktail that requires just three simple ingredients.
For this recipe, you'll keep the vodka and orange juice, though cranberry juice becomes the featured fruit. The flavor is something anyone can enjoy and it's another great excuse to pick up a budget-friendly vodka.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Ranking up there among the best vodka cocktails, few drinks can beat the Sex on the Beach. It has long been a favorite and after just one sip, you will discover why.
This popular mix is filled with flavor, including peach schnapps, creme de cassis, and orange and cranberry juices. The vodka base allows all that medley to shine, creating—as the name implies—the ultimate beach cocktail.
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The love for orange juice in cocktails is not strictly a modern trend. The citrus had a place in the bar when the first cocktails emerged on the scene, including icons like the Bronx cocktail.
While that recipe is more of an orange juice-laced perfect martini, the Abbey cocktail is extremely simple. This one is little more than gin and orange juice shaken and served in a cocktail glass. Yet, the orange bitters make a world of difference, making it ideal for any brunch.
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A flavorful ingredient like orange juice is ideal for masking the sometimes unpleasant aspects of liquor. This practice became prevalent in cocktails around the Prohibition era when bathtub gin, and less than spectacular whiskies, filled the nation's speakeasies.
From that time comes the very fun Monkey Gland cocktail. The drink's story is as fascinating as it's taste. In it, absinthe contrasts the sweetened citrus and gin base. This is a drink you have to try at least once in your... lifetime.
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It's not surprising that the tropical flavor of orange juice makes an appearance in a number of tiki cocktails. Though these recipes are often quite complex, the citrus element is key to finding that perfect balance between fruit and liquor.
One of the best-known recipes is the Hurricane. A New Orleans original, this classic includes two styles of rum and a blend of passion fruit and orange juices. It is one of the best tropical drinks created to date.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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This is the tiki culture's take on one of the oldest mixed drinks. Not every Navy Grog recipe requires orange juice, but at least one modern interpretation does.
A fitting choice for the liquor here is an old-fashioned Navy rum. You'll add curaçao along with lime and orange juices and finish it off with bitters. It's simple but has a nice complex taste that you're sure to enjoy.
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While orange juice is most often associated with breakfast and brunch, it can be a useful ingredient for dinner-worthy cocktails as well. It is a perfect background for a nice aperitif.
The Campari cosmo is an interesting twist on a very popular cocktail. It mixes citrus vodka with Campari and offsets that distinct flavor with both orange juice and a liqueur. It comes together in stunning fashion and is the perfect libation for any meal.
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Blood oranges are a popular alternative to naval oranges, particularly in the winter months when they come into season. Using this variation of orange is a drink trend that is worth paying attention to. You might find that you enjoy the sweeter, less acidic taste of this juice just a little more.
In the Almost a Collins recipe, blood orange juice and soda are combined with a fine vodka and cinnamon syrup. It's a unique and refreshing drink that's easy to make and ideal for any winter... happy hour.