Gin Seville

Last week I saw Seville oranges for the first time in my life. I had often read and heard about them, but this was the first occasion to buy them. Seville orange (Citrus aurantium), also called bitter orange, is, as its name suggests, widely cultivated in the South of Spain, but rarely consumed there. Apparently most of the harvest is shipped to the UK, where it is used to make bitter orange marmalade. The fruit is also one of the ingredients in such liquors as Cointreau, Triple Sec or Curaçao. Seville oranges are often bright orange, smaller than their sweet counterparts and have a light yellow, particularly sour and rather bitter juice.

Unwilling to bother with one or two jars of marmalade, I spent several days wondering how to use the several Seville oranges I had bought. I decided to do what I did with the first passion fruits I bought, i.e. look for a cocktail idea (see here the extraordinary Passion Fruit Daiquiri I am regularly making). Finally, I stumbled upon the Gin Sour recipe on the Naked SushiΒ blog. Even though the author wasn’t very enthusiastic with the result, I would like to thank her with all my heart because I see this drink as a precious jewel. It is slightly bitter, slightly sour, rather strong and much more complex than I expected, given its short list of ingredients. Obviously, it has nothing to do with an ordinary mixture of gin and sweet orange juice. If, like me, you hate sweet, “girlie” cocktails and are a fan of serious, adult stuff, I strongly encourage you to look for Seville oranges. I have decided to name the cocktail Gin Seville, because in my opinion it owes everything to Seville orange juice.

Preparation: 5 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

30 ml (about 1 oz) Seville orange juice (my fruits didn’t have much juice and I had to use two oranges)

50 ml (a bit less than 2 oz) gin

1 tablespoon syrup (I used cane syrup)

several ice cubes

Strain the juice and shake with the gin and the syrup.

Pour into a glass and add several ice cubes.



50 Replies to “Gin Seville”

    1. Thank you. So you are not one of those who got drunk on gin tonic when they were young πŸ˜‰ I think you should taste a gin cocktail at least once.

      1. I didn’t get ‘drunk drunk’ til university and that was at an off campus party to celebrate someone’s successful defense of a phd dissertation. Everyone brought a fifth (1/5 gallon or 750 ml) bottle of something or a case of beer. No wines. The food (mostly Indian) was supplied by the graduate. I got plastered on about 6 or 7 different kinds of alcohol, as far as I recall cause I couldn’t remember any of the HILARIOUS jokes that were told that night. πŸ™‚

        The first MIXED drink I ever had was a rum and coke and that was at a wedding I went to in my late teens when I couldn’t think of anything else to order at the open bar.

        I did drink some of that horrible pear liquer that eastern European women serve to their lady friends when I was growing up but that never tempted me to drink anything else alcoholic for a long time.

        1. Haha! So maybe you have had gin cocktails and simply don’t remember πŸ˜‰
          I have never heard about this liqueur!

  1. I actually like the bitterness of oranges and have always preferred bitter marmalade over sweet ones. So I’m guessing this one’s for me! … altho I’d rather doubt I’ll be able to get my hands on any Seville oranges. I wonder if it’ll work with mandarins? Tons at this time of year with Chinese New Year just around the corner.

    1. Ping, I think that you can try mixing bitter marmalade with gin and it should work too. When I opened an incredibly good apricot jam offered by a friend’s mom I transformed it into cocktails and they were amazing! ( I love gin because it is great in bitter/sour cocktails. I think it would work with mandarins too, but it wouldn’t be bitter. What about any of the exotic fruits you have in your country? Maybe some of them are slightly bitter…

      1. Hmmm … that’s an interesting thought. It’s never occurred to me to use local fruits. But then, I’m not too good with alcohol mixing and cocktails. All I know is that I enjoy sipping them πŸ˜€

        1. Ping, there are many incredible recipes on the web, very often using exotic fruit juices or syrups. This is how I found the passion fruit daiquiri. I’m sure it tastes 100x better than with bottled juice. (By the way, I’m not good with cocktails too. If a cocktail contains three ingredients it’s already enough for me!)

  2. I googled Seville oranges and the photos look like any other oranges we have here, so I assume unless there’s a label in front of my face, otherwise I would not know they are different…

    Your cocktail look wonderful, I thought the peel garnish was a splash of orange juice in very vibrant color!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeno. I thought the cocktail looked sad with this straw yellow colour… I tried to make a fancy zest ribbon, but I’m not very skilled πŸ˜‰
      Maybe mine look different because they are organic? They were at least 30% smaller than the “normal” organic oranges and looked like big mandarins. (I had to tell the cashier they were oranges and not mandarins because she didn’t know πŸ™‚ ) Don’t worry, they are always labelled and when you smell them, they have a very strong aroma, half-orange, half-mandarin.

  3. Alas..I am one of those who love the girlie girl drinks and can’t do the hard stuff! Looking at it tho, I love the splash of orange in the center. It LOOKS girlie to me!

    1. Thank you so much, Linda. I think putting more syrup would make this drink “girlie” and still delicious for sweet drink fans πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you so much, Barb! It’s all me: I often buy a fruit, a vegetable, a Japanese grocery item… and then start wondering what to do with this. Not very logical, I know. (By the way, I have bought some more bitter oranges today for this weekend’s cocktails πŸ˜‰ )

    1. Thank you so much, Louise! I’m very happy you have visited my blog and I hope you don’t mind my changing the name. I loved this drink so much, I have just brought new Seville oranges to make more cocktails this weekend πŸ™‚

  4. I’m afraid I’m with Linda on this one… and I think I may have admitted this to you before Sissi, but I’m a total lightweight in the alcohol department… Though I love experimenting and even the taste of many different mixed drinks, a sip or two is about all this girl can handle… πŸ™‚ What a beautiful looking cocktail Sissi and I love that it’s made with seville oranges! Have a great weekend ~ there is a major snow storm going on outside my window as I type…!

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I suppose you need regular alcohol drinking training πŸ˜‰
      Snow storm! Wow! This is not something I see often here. We have been having a particularly cold day, but no snow. Have a great weekend too!

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. I loved the bitter, serious side of this cocktail. Guess what snack was perfect with them! (Yes, your crackers!)

  5. Hi Sissi – you’re lucky to have got some seville oranges. I must have a check in some organic stores to see if I can find some myself. I’ve always wanted to make seville orange marmalade… have you ever heard of Frank Cooper’s? It’s a marmalade made with seville oranges in England – really dark and delicious.

    I don’t mind the odd tot of gin – this looks wonderfully refreshing and I bet the seville orange flavour adds a delicious bittersweetness.

    1. Thank you so much, Charles. I buy Seville oranges in both (different) French organic shop chains, so I’m sure you will find them somewhere. You just have to hurry up. The season ends in a couple of weeks.(I have bought some more today too and have just had another Gin Seville!).
      I wanted to make bitter orange marmalade too, but I have made too many sweet preserves in last two years and have absolutely no free space in my pantry. I have to empty it before I make new jars (one of my New Year resolutions!). I have never heard of Frank Cooper’s, but I’m sure Seville orange marmalade is delicious.
      I love slightly bitter and/or sour drinks, so this one was perfect for me!

      1. Haha, my stuff started overflowing from my kitchen and pantry long ago… I have jars of conserves and tinned goods sitting in the coat cupboard in the hallway now, lol πŸ™‚

  6. Considering this is a fruity drink, maybe I would enjoy it? =) Not only food but you also make great drinks. I have no creativity whatsoever for drinks, and maybe even though I mix up something, I won’t be able to “enjoy” the drink. Teehee. I just wonder which recipes you have more, preserves or drinks… πŸ˜‰ Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you, Nami, for the compliments. I don’t think I’m a skilled cocktail maker. I hate complicated ones, so, as I told Ping, I try to avoid all those which call for more than three ingredients. I think you would enjoy this one if you like dry, slightly bitter and sour drinks, otherwise I would advise for example passion fruit daiquiri πŸ˜‰ Have a great weekend too!

  7. Sissi, That drink is calling my name. We have shared several comments that our tastes are very similar. We don’t like sweet, girlie drinks. When we lived in Florida, we had a Seville bitter orange tree growing in our yard. I used the oranges just like lemons and limes. They were great for marinades as well.

    1. Hi, Karen, thank you for this kind comment. I am very happy you share my passion for dry, “serious” drinks. I do remember we share taste for certain things πŸ™‚ I must try the oranges in a marinade. Thank you for the tip.

  8. oooh sissi, showing your expertise at drinks again(: as i said before, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to alcohol, but I must say that sounds like it’ll taste pretty amazing.

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Shuhan, but I really am far from having any “expertise” in drinks πŸ˜‰ The simpler they are, the better.

      1. You know what they say … “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king”. Well, for those of us who know NOTHING about mixed drinks etc, you’re an expert. πŸ™‚

        And even though I don’t like sweet, sweet drinks, I think I still lean more toward the sweet than the dry if I had to pick one direction from center. I had some fine aged Glenmorangie (single malt Scotch whiskey) years ago when I attempted to expand my alcohol palate and it didn’t go over well. Maybe I should have repeated the attempt but I gave up and stuck to the sweeter stuff.

  9. Dear Sissy,

    I have seen Seville oranges here although most oranges are locally grown and some imported from the US. Looks like we have something in common as I dislike anything too sweet or “girlie” cocktails as you call it. A scotch on the rocks straight up with do me just fine πŸ™‚

    1. I am very happy to learn you are also a fan of dry, serious drinks. I used to love whisky until I drank much too much of it many years ago and since then my organism has been rejecing it in a very strong way. I get goose pimples when I smell whisky, although I must say from time to time I am able to take a sip of a very good, light-coloured single malt…

  10. That looks great. You know we never have gin on hand, ever. But guess what I just bought some for the first time in years!

  11. Well this sounds like just the drink for me after a day in the barn! I am the one who hates those girlie drinks. I don’t really have a sweet tooth. I am going to keep my eye out for some sevilles! Thank you and i feel so lucky finding your blog.. c

  12. Maybe I will have your luck–I never see these either! Nice looking drink too, though I do want to try the marmalade.

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