the thin chef

Consider the Orange

Yesterday, walking through my parents’ backyard—which winds almost an acre behind their house—I realized that I completely take it for granted. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a backyard full of prolific citrus trees. These beautiful trees have limbs that sigh under the weight of grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, mandarin oranges, kumquats, and lemons.

When I was growing up, and still to this day, the fridge is always stocked with fresh juice that my dad lovingly hand squeezes every weekend. On the kitchen floor are galvanized buckets full of fruit for snacking. I think I got, like, 1 cold all through high school, most likely thanks to my daily high doses of vitamin C.

Citrus is innately Florida. Most of the old money here came from the citrus business, and most of the central part of the state where we live and where I grew up was, at one time, all orange groves. Even when I was in high school, there were still sprawling old groves that were eventually torn down for housing developments. (Though I’m fairly certain these groves had been overcome by citrus canker, a disease that renders the fruit too ugly to sell.) When I would drive home from college in the springtime, I’d roll down my windows when I got into town to smell the orange blossoms. Forever and ever, citrus will mean home to me.

I grabbed a few oranges from one of my parents’ trees yesterday…and on this gorgeous, blue-sky-perfect spring afternoon, I decided to use them to make a sunny cocktail. I don’t always love bourbon, but with fresh orange, it’s lovely. A few bubbles courtesy of some Perrier lightened it up just enough for an effervescent afternoon libation.

Sweet Orange + Bourbon Cocktail
makes 1

1 ounce bourbon
3 ounces fresh orange juice
Sparkling water

Pour bourbon over ice in a glass. Add orange juice. Top with as much sparkling water as you prefer (just taste as you go). Best enjoyed outside in the sun under blue skies.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 13th, 2010 at 3:43 pm and is filed under drinks, fruit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


3 Responses to “Consider the Orange”

  1. redkathy Says:

    Beautiful photography! My hubby is a Florida boy and has endless fruit tree stories, not that I would share them here…

  2. Laura Says:

    We’ve got alot of wonderful things on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but I’m always so captivated by citurs trees. I recently went to visit my mother-in-law in California, and I was just blown away. How wonderful to go out and pluck a tangerine for breakfast!

    Will definitely be trying this cocktail. I just got a bag of blood oranges, so I might try it with those. Lovely pictures as well!

  3. Peyton Says:

    This post makes me wish I was able to walk through your parents’ yard again sometime soon and enjoy the “fruits” of your dad’s labor! His grapefruits last season were divine! :) :)