Blood Orange Vanilla Bean Gin And Tonic
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cocktail, easily doubled or tripled
This drink is a fun, vibrant twist on a plain ol' gin and tonic. To be honest, they should probably have their own title, but since it was a gin and tonic that inspired it, that's what I went with. The slightly bitter blood orange and smooth flavor of vanilla are the perfect compliment to a nice, piney gin. Just be sure to drink responsibly!
For the vanilla bean simple syrup (makes 8oz):
  • 1 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Per cocktail:
  • ¼ cup blood orange juice (about 1 blood orange, less if they are really juicy)
  • 2 oz. gin (I used St. George, but any gin you like will work)
  • ½ - 1 oz. vanilla simple syrup, depending on how sweet you like it
  • Ice
  • Tonic water for topping off
  • Twist of blood orange peel, for garnish (optional)
  • Mint for garnish (optional, but recommended -- the flavor goes well with the rest of the drink)
For the simple syrup:
  1. Add everything to a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour into a clean jar (I like to leave the vanilla bean in the syrup to steep) and refrigerate until needed. Syrup will keep for upwards of two weeks.
For the cocktail:
  1. Add the blood orange juice, gin, simple syrup, and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake well, then strain into a large rocks glass with ice, or a collins glass. Top off with tonic water, to taste, and garnish with mint.
Blood oranges are only in season for a short time. If you would like to make a similar drink but can't get your hands on blood oranges, you can try using other kinds of oranges (like cara cara or naval) and adding a drop or two of bitters to the cocktail before shaking. I have a hunch these would be delicious with grapefruit, too!
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at