Orange Blossom

Today marks the Lunar New Year, a momentous occasion as the steadfast Ox replaces the lively Rat in the zodiac cycle. May this transition bring forth positive changes and abundant blessings.

In Chinese tradition, the Lunar New Year festivities are replete with symbolism, particularly the presence of citruses, especially those with a vibrant orange hue. Tangerines are revered as harbingers of wealth, while oranges are considered bearers of good luck, with their color symbolizing good fortune itself.

For the Lunar New Year celebration, I present my own rendition of the classic Orange Blossom cocktail, tailored to usher in good luck and prosperity on this special evening.

The Orange Blossom cocktail has deep roots in the annals of mixology, hailing from the Prohibition era. Like many cocktails of its time, it cleverly masked the often low-quality spirits that found their way into the glasses of resourceful Americans. Some of these concoctions, like the enduring Orange Blossom, proved to be not only effective disguises but delicious libations that have stood the test of time.

The cocktail’s recipe first saw the light of day in 1935 within the pages of “The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book,” penned by Albert Stevens Crockett. Interestingly, this book introduced two variations of the cocktail. The classic rendition featured gin, orange juice, and sweet vermouth, while the simplified version omitted the vermouth.

Over the decades, countless variations of the Orange Blossom have emerged. While the backbone of the cocktail remains gin and orange juice, the rest is open to interpretation and improvisation. Notably, the original recipe employed sweet Old Tom Gin, so if you opt for dry gin, it’s advisable to introduce a touch of sweetener to maintain the cocktail’s balance.

In my interpretation, I’ve artfully combined dry gin with triple sec to enhance the orange essence, added grenadine for a hint of sweetness, and incorporated lemon juice to infuse a burst of freshness into this delightful libation, making it a perfect choice for celebrating the Lunar New Year.

-4 oz / 120 ml fresh orange juice
-2 oz/ 60 ml dry gin
-1/2 oz / 15 ml triple sec
-1/2 oz / 15 ml fresh lemon juice
– ¼ oz / 8 ml grenadine

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice and shake gently. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass and enjoy.

Cheers to an auspicious beginning!

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