The Orange Blossom Mocktail was invented by my dad when I was a kid.
Back in the ‘70s, cocktail hour was a thing for the grownups. For family celebrations, like holidays or anniversaries, he’d make us an orange blossom special drink for the occasion so we could join in.
Back then we didn’t know what mocktails were. We just called them kids’ cocktails.
This Orange Blossom Mocktail is still a wonderful drink for kids or just when you don’t want to have anything alcoholic.
You can make a big batch of this no-alcohol Orange Blossom drink in a pitcher for parties.
Or serve it in a punch bowl for the kids and non-imbibing adults.
Make a party-ready ice ring for the punch bowl to keep it cool and throw in some mint leaves as a pretty garnish.
What is an Orange Blossom cocktail?
I’m not exactly sure how my dad came up with this orange blossom recipe. Possibly he based it on the Orange Blossom Cocktail which has equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and orange juice.
I’ve seen an other Orange Blossom Cocktail recipe made with Triple sec, lime juice and grenadine syrup along with the gin and orange juice.
The history of the Orange Blossom is that it’s a Depression-era cocktail since the orange juice masked the poor flavor of bathtub gin produced during that time.
Making the orange blossom mocktail recipe
The better your orange blossom ingredients, the more delicious your drink will be!
First, there’s the bitters.
Even before he invented the mocktail Orange Blossom, one of the staples in our liquor cabinet is Angostura Aromatic Bitters. He enjoyed the occasional Rob Roy cocktail and got my husband hooked on them.
(My dad’s recipe for a Rob Roy was a blended scotch, dry vermouth and Angostura bitters – not sweet vermouth and no cherry please!)
My mom also used Angostura bitters for the occasional tummy ache. I’d often see her sipping bitters from a crystal liquor glass.
In fact, Angostura bitters was invented by Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, a German doctor of medicine, for stomach disorders, sea sickness, and to improve appetite.
It’s made in Trinidad from a secret blend of Caribbean herbs and spices.
It wasn’t until later than people started using it in cocktails as well as appetizer, sauce, entrée, and dessert recipes.
Angostura makes traditional aromatic bitters as well as orange bitters. Both would be terrific in this Orange Blossom mocktail recipe.
How to make an orange blossom
Then there’s orange juice.
I specify orange tangerine juice in my orange blossom mocktail recipe because I think it’s something special. You can use regular orange juice, of course.
For best results, use 100% pure squeezed orange juice. Pick one that’s pulp free, because pulp sticking to the sides of your glass looks messy! Plus, cleanup is a chore.
If you’re watching calories, look for a reduced calorie OJ like Tropicana Trop 50. Or you can make your own by diluting the orange juice with regular or sparkling water.
Now add the sparkling apple juice.
I love the taste of the sparkling apple juice or cider in the orange blossom drink. However, it’s very sweet and high in carbs. Not everyone wants all those calories either!
If you’re watching your calories, you can substitute Sparkling Ice, Crisp Apple Sparkling Water. It has ZERO calories and naturally flavored and sweetened.
Since I have problems finding this flavor in my grocery store, I get several packs every month with Amazon’s Subscribe & Save.
Finally, there’s the ginger ale.
I used to prefer a natural ginger ale like the kind Hansen’s makes for this orange blossom drink recipe. However, now that I discovered Sparkling Ice, Ginger Lime, I’m hooked. It tastes even better than so-called “natural” ginger ales.
It’s not quite as sweet, which I like. Plus, it has ZERO CALORIES along with antioxidants and vitamins. It’s my favorite guilt free ginger ale.
I order several 12-packs per month through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service. If you love ginger ale, you should, too!
Looking for more mocktails?
This Lemonade Sangria Recipe is fun for a baby shower or summer party.
Cool down with a glass of Iced Tea Sangria.
This Spiced Citrus & Honey Hot Toddy can be made with or without alcohol and is perfect for cool fall or winter months.
Originally published on Dec 19, 2011. Updated with new photos and information.
Photo credit: DepositPhotos.com