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The Art of Nature: A brief history of the Orange

Stories
The ORANGE

What better time for the Orange season to kick off than in Winter? Heavy skies and long nights have us craving for sweet and bright distractions while we wait for the lighter Spring days to return.

It will come as no surprise that the Orange is the most cultivated fruit tree on the planet. An enormous 70 million tonnes of Oranges were grown in 2018. 70% of this number is from ‘sweet’ Oranges.

Amongst the many types of sweet Orange lies the Blood Orange. Often unremarkable from the outside, the inner flesh of Blood Oranges with hues varying from warm orange to dark, blood-red, gives this citrus fruit its rather un-appealing name.

A key ingredient in Seedlip Grove 42, the Blood Orange brings warm, citrus notes that are perfect for both Winter and Summer drinks but as well as being delicious there are more nutritious benefits to be gained from eating Blood Oranges too.

Cinnamon Orange

A LITTLE HISTORY OF THE BLOOD ORANGE

The earliest record of sweet Oranges appears in ancient Chinese texts, dating back to 314 BC. However, the Blood Orange doesn’t make an appearance until the 18th century when they were first grown along the southern Mediterranean coast of Italy. This is where we source the Blood Orange for Seedlip Grove 42.

WHY THE 42?

Although Oranges have been grown in the Far East for thousands of years, it wasn’t till 1542 that the fruit made its way into Europe, and the colour orange first got its name.

WHAT DO AUTUMN LEAVES & BLOOD ORANGES HAVE IN COMMON?

The red & purple colouration of autumn leaves and the red flesh in Blood Oranges are both the result of a pigment called Anthocyanins.
This special pigment, unlike carotenoids that give orange and yellow fruits their colour, is only present in the plant during specific times of the growing cycle and needs cooler weather to really get going.
However, Anthocyanins don’t just add colour, they are also an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
So, if you want your Blood Orange packed full of antioxidants, it’s worth eating them right at the end of the season when their flesh is darkest and richest.

EATING

There are many varieties of Blood Oranges. Here are some of the best ones to keep an eye out for:

(I) TAROCCO

Referred to as "half-blood" due to the lightly coloured flesh, Tarocco has thin, orange skin with a slight blush of red tones. The Tarocco is one of the world's most popular Oranges because of its sweetness and juiciness. It also has a very high vitamin C content.

(II) MORO

The Moro is the most colourful of the Blood Oranges, with deep-red flesh and a bright red, blush-like rind. The flavour is stronger, and the aroma is more intense than a normal Orange. This fruit has a distinct, sweet flavour with a hint of Raspberry. In contrast to the Tarocco or the Sanguinello, the Moro has a more bitter flavour.

(III) SANGUINELLO

The Sanguinello which was discovered in Spain in 1929, has reddish skin, few seeds and sweet and tender flesh. It is close in character to the Moro.
The Sanguinello matures in February but can remain on trees unharvested until April and fruit can last until the end of May. The peel is compact and clear yellow in colour with a red tinge. The flesh is orange with multiple blood-coloured streaks.

DRINKING – BLOSSOM

Seedlip Grove 42: 50ml
Fresh Lemon juice: 15ml
Blood Orange juice: 20ml
Sugar syrup: 15ml

Glass & Garnish
Coupe wth an Orange leaf

Method
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker then double strain into Coupe glass & garnish wth an Orange leaf

Blossom Square