Homemade Blood Orange Syrup (Blood Orange Simple Syrup)

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This beautifully colored blood orange syrup is the perfect ingredient for homemade sodas, lemonades, and so much more! This is such an easy recipe, too. You just need 2 simple ingredients and a little time!

bottle of homemade blood orange simple syrup.

​I love the flavor of blood orange, and this blood orange simple syrup is a great way to add extra flavor and a gorgeous red color to a variety of drinks and desserts! It’s such an easy recipe to make and can be made with regular oranges, too. So refreshing!

What is Blood Orange Syrup?

This blood orange syrup is essentially a simple syrup made by saturating blood orange juice with sugar. It has a bold red color and that classic blood orange flavor, kind of like a cross between a mild grapefruit and an orange. It’s perfect for a variety of uses, like sweetening lemonade or iced tea, making the best cocktails, or even adding blood orange flavor to your cakes!

It’s a really versatile product that will help you add the citrus flavor of the blood orange to many different recipes!

pouring red blood orange syrup in sparkling water.

What you’ll love about this blood orange syrup recipe


  • COMPLETELY HOMEMADE – Unlike bottled syrups full of thickeners and preservatives, this simple orange cocktail syrup has just three ingredients. It doesn’t get much simpler than this!
  • DELICIOUS FLAVOR – The delicious blood orange flavor tastes amazing in old fashioneds, homemade sodas, lemonades, and more. Plus, the red color is stunning, too.
  • GREAT FOR SODAS & COCKTAILS – On a basic level, you can use this blood orange syrup to sweeten any type of beverage you’d like, but it can do so much more than that! Be sure to check out my tips below for how to use it up!

Equipment

To make this blood orange syrup, you’ll need:

  • A nonreactive saucepan (not metal; I used ceramic)
  • A cutting board and knife
  • Mason jar
  • Narrow funnel (optional)
ingredients to make blood orange syrup recipe.

Ingredients

  • Cane sugar – Use regular white or granulated sugar. 
  • Blood orange – You really only need one orange for this recipe! I prefer to use an organic orange to avoid any pesticides or waxes.

Note: I’ve tried a couple of different ways to make this syrup. One used blood orange juice instead of water, which was quite delicious but with a milder orange flavor. In the other method, I used 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and simmered 1 orange sliced into thin rounds. Both options turned out great! If you don’t have enough oranges for a cup of juice, try the infusing method instead.

How to Make Blood Orange Syrup

  1. Place the orange juice and sugar in a non-reactive pan.
  2. Set the heat to medium low and allow the mixture to heat until the sugar crystals dissolve. Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  4. Pour the cooled blood orange simple syrup into a clean jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Storing

​Homemade infused simple syrups usually have a shelf life of 1-2 weeks. Be sure to keep the finished product in a clean bottle in the fridge to keep it fresh.

How to Use Blood Orange Simple Syrup

There are plenty of ways to use this simple syrup recipe! These are some of my favorite uses:

  • Drizzle over ice cream
  • Make your own soda
  • Stir into iced tea or lemonade
  • Brush onto cake layers
  • Add to cocktails
  • Flavor salad dressings

Tips & Variations

  • Use regular oranges or other citrus fruits. You can easily follow the exact same steps with your favorite navel or cara cara oranges! You just won’t have the same color, and the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Add zest. For a bolder flavor, zest at least 1 blood orange and let the zest simmer in the syrup.
  • Add herbs. A sprig of rosemary or even some dried lavender would add a lovely layer of flavor to this homemade syrup! Just be sure to strain them out.
  • Use up the peels. If you’ve been squeezing a bunch of blood oranges for juice or anything else, use the orange peels to make this syrup. It’s a great way to reduce your waste!
  • Adjust the sugar. I recommend using regular white sugar because it will let the orange flavor shine, but you can also try brown sugar. This will add a richer, more complicated flavor that would be especially interesting for cocktails.
  • Make a rich syrup. Prefer a richer, thicker syrup? Add double the sugar! This syrup is already pretty thick, so you probably won’t need this tip.
  • Infuse the oranges in sugar water. If you don’t have lots of blood oranges, try simmering slices of 1 blood orange in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. The liquid will pull out the blood orange flavor without requiring as much juice.

FAQs

Can you use a different type of sugar?

​Yes, you technically can. Brown sugar usually adds a much richer flavor, but it can also hide the blood orange flavor. For the most orange-forward flavor, use regular white sugar or cane sugar.

Why is my blood orange syrup bitter?

The white pith is the most bitter part of the blood orange, and I find that this syrup can become bitter if you heat it for too long or at too high of a temperature. Keep it nice and low! 

Does blood orange syrup contain juice?

It doesn’t have to! This version does use juice, which gives it a slightly thick, glossy consistency. If you prefer, you can simmer slices of blood orange in a simple syrup mixture (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar) to extract the flavor without juicing a bunch of oranges. Bother methods work well!

Related Recipes

making blood orange soda with homemade syrup.
glass bottle with homemade blood orange syrup.

Blood Orange Simple Syrup (Blood Orange Syrup)

This beautifully colored blood orange syrup is the perfect ingredient for homemade sodas, lemonades, and so much more! This is such an easy recipe, too. You just need 2 simple ingredients and a little time!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine American

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup blood orange juice

Instructions
 

  • Add all the ingredients to a non-reactive pan (not metal). Heat over medium low heat and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes or until the sugar crystals dissolve.
  • Remove the heat, then store the syrup in a clean glass jar.
  • Allow it to cool to room temperature, then seal and store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Notes

Store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
This recipe makes a pretty thick syrup that sinks in beverages, similar to grenadine. If you want a thinner syrup, add 1/4 cup of water.

Infusion Method

Instead of juicing a bunch of oranges, you can slice one orange into thin slices then simmer it in a mixture of sugar and water (1 cup of each). Allow the sugar crystals to dissolve, then let the mixture cool to room temperature. Strain out the orange pieces and store in a bottle like the method above.
This method still has a great color and blood orange flavor without requiring so much juice. 
Keyword blood orange syrup
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