Friday, December 21, 2012

Le Grand Orange

As I told my friend Pete last night: Inspiration comes in the weirdest and most unexpected of ways. Now given that, I was inspired to make this cocktail rather unexpectedly. I walked into the local deli near work the yesterday and saw that they were selling Orangina. Now it's been years since I've seen those distinctive round textured little bottles with the orange flavored liquid in them.

For those of you who don't know what Orangina is, here is how the product is described on the Orangina website:
Orangina has a unique recipe with an authentic and well-balanced taste thanks to a subtle blend of different citrus fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin). The recipe contains no less than 12% juice (10% orange, 2% citrus), real orange pulp and natural orange zest and uses only natural ingredients (no added coloring, natural flavoring). Together with the light carbonation Orangina brings you the perfect natural refreshing experience.
After posting on Facebook that I hadn't seen Orangina as of late, my friend Lenore mentioned to me that Orangina goes well with Absolute Apeach. Alas, we don't carry Absolute Peach but as my mind is prone to work, I was already scheming on how I can use Orangina in a cocktail. I decided to make a variation of the Absolute Crush cocktail. So off I went to buy a bottle of Orangina and an orange.

My first attempt came out too sweet for my palate. I mixed 2oz of Absolute Mandarin with a couple of splashes of Grand Marnier and a top off of Orangina. I had the lovely ladies Ms. Dawn and Ms. Dana give it a go and they both liked it. I wasn't satisfied with it and decided to tweak it a bit. Here is what I decided to do:
Le Grand Orange
2oz Absolute Mandarin
Splash of Grand Marnier
Orange slice

Cut the orange slice in quarters, place in a mixing glass and muddle to release juices. Add ice and pour Absolute Mandarin and the splash of Grand Marnier. Shake vigorously. Strain into highball glass half full of ice. Top off with Orangina. Stir lightly and garnish with a quarter of an Orange slice.
I found that muddling the orange slice gave the cocktail a much more natural orange flavor. Limiting the Grand Marnier to one small splash rather than multiple splashes kept the cocktail much more balanced. It wasn't as sweet as the first attempt. Here is Ms. Dawn enjoying Le Grand Orange.

If you make one, please let me know what you think of it. I'd appreciate the feedback.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla