Seville Orangeade

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Totally delicious orangeade drink, made with sour Seville oranges.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Remember Tang, the orange drink of astronauts? This sort of reminds me of Tang, or what Tang would taste like if it were made from fresh, whole ingredients. Or for those of us who outgrew Tang, think, Orangina but without the carbonation.

Marc from Mental Masala introduced this recipe to me for whole lemon lemonade and I decided to try out the method with a bunch of leftover bitter Seville oranges I had from making marmalade.

Bitter oranges are needed to make this orangeade recipe, it doesn’t really work with juice oranges, so I apologize in advance to those of you who don’t live in citrus growing regions.

Here in California navel oranges are often grafted onto bitter orange root stock which is hardy. Sometimes the root stock takes over the orange tree and one year you find yourself with bitter seedy Seville oranges growing on your tree instead of sweet, seedless navel oranges.

Most people don’t have the patience for marmalade making, for which these oranges are ideally suited. This is an easy way to use up those otherwise ignored oranges and make a delicious, refreshing drink at the same time. Would be good for an orange sorbet as well.

Seville Orangeade Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients

  • 10-12 seville oranges, washed and scrubbed clean
  • 1 cup sugar
  • The juice from one large lemon
  • 5 cups cold, filtered water

Method

1 Cut the oranges in half lengthwise and then slice them into thin 1/8-inch slices.

2 Put them in a large flat-bottomed non-reactive bowl. Stir in the sugar. Use a potato masher to mash the orange slices until most of the segments are juiced.

3 Pour water into the bowl of orange slices. Stir to mix gently, making sure that any undissolved sugar gets completely dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice.

4 Set a large fine mesh strainer over another large bowl and strain the orange mixture through it, pressing if necessary to get out as much of the juice as possible. Pour into a serving pitcher.

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Seville Orangeade

Showing 4 of 10 Comments

  • Joshua Eason

    I just did something similar today and it was great :D We’ve had the bitter orange trees at my grandma’s for years, but they’ve always considered them ornamental not edible.

    At the beginning of this year, I had found a recipe for orange salmon that used Seville oranges, so I looked it up to find out what they were and sure enough, they are the bitter ones we grow.

    Today, I’ve finally brought a huge bag of oranges from my grandma’s and the first thing I did was make a beverage with it: Lemonade, substituting the lemon juice for the orange.

    I think I’ll try it with some of the lemon like you do though. Thank you for always sharing such lovely recipes.

  • Shawnda

    This is awesome! My husband’s family members all have at least 1 orange tree and I had no idea what to do with all the freebies we were given last fall. Many of them went bad because we *just* couldn’t eat one more orange. Now that I know the fruit will be coming ahead of time, I can at least plan this year. I can’t wait to give this a shot – it looks so refreshing.

  • Elise

    Hi Shawnda – This doesn’t work with oranges from regular orange trees, only oranges from bitter orange trees. Often people consider these trees only ornamental because the fruit is so sour it’s not edible. But if you know people with orange trees, they may know of friends or neighbors who have one of these bitter orange trees and don’t know what to do with the fruit.

    Hi Amie – I’ve honestly never seen Seville bitter oranges for sale in any market, but do let me know if you find them. This recipe is really only practical for people who happen to have a bitter orange tree or know someone who does. I have heard you can get them at the Ferry building in San Francisco. Better to use this recipe for making an intense lemonade if you don’t have access to Seville oranges.

    Hi Jeff – Indeed. This would make an awesome drink.

  • ZotScott

    I was watching the food channel today and Nigella mentioned Seville oranges. She said a good alternative to a Seville orange was using the juice of 1 sweet orange and the juice of 2 limes.

  • Sue

    I live in northern British Columbia in Canada. The supermarket I work at frequently has Seville oranges (my son bought one the other day and thought he could just eat it – NOT). Anyway, my point is we have these quite frequently up north, so I’m sure with a little effort they must be around in a major supermarket. This recipe looks great since I have a family of 5 boys including my husband that love orange juice!!!

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