Blood Orange and Sage Sparkling Soda


Blood Orange and Sage Sparkling Soda

Our glassware cabinet is filled with mason jars and a few mismatched Ikea glasses that haven’t broken yet. The great thing about mason jars is that they’re virtually indestructible – if only I had a dollar for every time my slippery fingers dropped a glass in the sink. The paper-thin glasses holding this blood orange and sage sparkling soda are on the exact opposite end of the spectrum; dangerously lighter than disposable plastic crystal cut cups, they threaten to crumble if you grab just a little too firmly.

My non-rational side couldn’t resist their delicacy, so I bought a pair and immediately filled them with something lovely before I had a chance to crush them with my superhuman grip.

Don’t expect to see them again. There’s a reason I can’t have nice things.

Blood Orange Sage Sparkling SodaSage Simple Syrup

As an inexplicably clumsy person, I’m breaking all the rules drinking something so crimson in such a fragile glass. Back in high school, I earned a reputation for spilling food and drinks all over my best friend’s carpet. If it could stain, I’d instantly turn into a bumbling oaf. After one too many Hawaiian Punch puddles on her bedroom floor (and bed), her parents bought me a sippy cup and banned me from taking drinks out of the kitchen without it. And they weren’t joking.

To this day, I drink water out of a lidded cup with a straw and still manage to spill it down my shirt.

Sage and Blood Orange Sparkling Soda

While this vibrant red soda looks a whole lot like Hawaiian punch, I assure you it’s way more grown up and ambrosial. This is no youthful sippy cup soda. This deserves a delicate cup (with a straw so I don’t actually have to pick it up). It’s bright and tart, with a bit of bubbly. The sage simple syrup softens each sip with an unexpected earthy sweetness. To finish it off, I candied the sage from the simple syrup as an aromatic garnish.

Dear Fruit, meet your new best friend Sage. (Scroll down for the recipe)

Sparkling Blood Orange & Sage Soda

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Blood Orange and Sage Sparkling Soda
Yields: 2 servings
  • ¼ cup sugar, plus more for candied sage garnish (optional)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh sage
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice (from about 4-5 blood oranges)
  • 1 cup seltzer water
  1. In a small pot, stir together the sugar and water. Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar just dissolves, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh sage. Steep for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Strain the sage simple syrup into a small cup, reserving the sage to candy as a garnish (optional).
  4. (Optional). One piece at a time, dip a soaked leaf of sage in a small bowl of sugar, covering both sides of the leaf with sugar. Transfer to a plate to dry. (It takes a few hours to harden, so if you're hoping to have this as a garnish, prepare the sage simple syrup in advance).
  5. Divide the ice between two cups.
  6. Pour ½ cup of freshly squeezed blood orange juice into each glass.
  7. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of sage simple syrup into each glass (you can always add more, depending on how sweet you like it).
  8. Top off each glass with ½ cup of seltzer water.
  9. Garnish with candied sage and a blood orange slice.

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  1. This drink is gorgeous! I could drink this all day!

  2. Gorgeous and mouthwatering! I want. NOW!

  3. mira says:

    I love blood orange soda and it is time to make it myself! Looks fantastic!

  4. I am super clumsy with drinkware too. I purposely bought double sets of all my glasses, because I knew I would break them. Now I’ll just grab a replacement from the shed. I have the worst luck with wine glasses. I’m constantly snapping the stems. I’ve already broken 3 of my own set!

    This might be the prettiest cocktail I have ever seen! I just love that blood red orange color. And that sparkling sage? Amazing!

    • That is the most genius idea ever! I actually considered that when I just bought a set of clearance dishes. I got home and thought, “why didn’t I buy replacements for when I chip/break these?!”

  5. I am such a clumsy person which is why my husband insists that a lot of our dishware we buy is shatterproof haha. This is the prettiest drink ever! I love the gorgeous color from the blood oranges and it looks so so refreshing!

  6. These blood orange sparkling sodas are gorgeous!!! and the candied sage?! oh my gawd, I love these!!!

  7. Thank you for this recipe! I have always wanted to find a way to use sage in my cooking but haven’t been able to yet (read: too lazy to find a good recipe and experiment haha). Your story about being clumsy is adorable yet hilarious!! I feel you though, whenever I have white clothes on I feel like it’s fated that I will spill something on me (and it will probably be red, of course)!

  8. I love this new use for sage! I’m guilty of resigning it to only savoury dishes, but I love this use in a drink.
    While I’m getting better at not breaking glasses and dishes, I was notorious for knocking over my water glass at dinner every night. Even now when I eat pasta I end up flicking sauce all over what I am wearing, which is probably why I wear a lot of black and navy blue!

  9. Nancy says:

    Oh my GOSH. The colours (and your gorgeous photography) in this post. I lovvvvvvvvvvve it.

  10. What an incredibly refreshing drink! And I love that little sugared sage leaf. Gorgeous photos too + the gif!!

  11. My cabinet is also filled with a bunch of mason jars and mis-matched glasses! Unfortunately, my husband always seems to break my favorites! These blood oranges are gorgeous! I’ve never used them before but now I want to buy a dozen of them! This sparkling soda sounds awesome too :)

    • Ha – that’s precisely the reason why my husband refused to wash these glasses when I brought them home;) Every time he breaks one of my beloved dishes, he feels SO TERRIBLE, so now he lets me wash all the ones I love.

  12. This is seriously THE most gorgeous drink ever! I love love the color and the fact that it’s booze-free, so I can drink it all day long! WIN.

  13. Mmmm! This looks so refreshing. And the blood orange reminds me of a giant burst of sunshine powerful enough to melt this 18 inches of snow we just had (on top of the 3 feet from earlier in the week).

  14. I joke all the time that nobody taught me how to eat a sandwich because when I try it is just alllll over me! This drink looks insanely refreshing. I love all things blood orange and the fact that you threw sage in the mix I mean hello new favorite combination!

  15. Wow, I saw these photos on facebook and my mouth dropped! SO beautiful! That color! I’m hosting a baby shower next month and think these need to be on the beverage menu! I love that you combined blood orange and sage! AMAZING! And love the giveaway- so thoughtful!

  16. Blood orange deserves to be in everything and this drink is no exception. Stunning!!!

  17. This is sooooo beautiful. I can’t take my eyes off your photos. The color is just stunning. And I can see how you couldn’t resist those glasses.

  18. Oh, good grief, this is one gorgeous soda! The colors are so perfect and makes me believe that winter might truly, someday, end :)

  19. Gorgeous photos as always, Sarah! Looks like a glass of summer and I’m totally needing that right now! It’s currently a balmy 34 degrees right now… which is actually “warm”.

  20. I don’t think I’ve ever heard “ambrosial” used in that way, but I like it! Good work!

  21. Saw these on Foodgawker and had to stop by and tell you how GORGEOUS they are! Love the candied sage too! I have a fiancé that is a notorious spiller so I’m not contemplated a sippy cup for him. Although, I don’t think beer will taste too good out of it!

    • Thank you so much, Jessica! I bet you could find some pretty stylish adult sippy cups these days (the one they bought me was pink and had animals on it hahaha). Beer through a straw? HMMMM hahaha.

  22. These photos are beautiful!! Yay for candied sage! The sage simple syrup sounds so good. I just recently invested in some decent looking don’t-look-like-plastic plastic cups because I have broken wayy too many glasses. So far so good. ;)

  23. Whoa. My mind is blown with the sage. These photos make me oh-so-happy. They’re sooooo pretty! (P.S. I buy all my glasses and stemware from thrift shops so I’m not devastated when I accidentally break them.)

  24. Oh Sarah, you are just so funny! I think my daughter will be just like you :) This is one fabulously looking drink, I love its vibrant color. Cannot wait to try it!

  25. Wow!!!! look at those photos, esp. the pouring motion!!!! I <3 <3 <3 them, Sarah.
    This drink is perfect for me. I need to make it like RIGHT NOW.

    • Thanks Pang! I used the tips for focusing on the middle of the cup we learned from the pro the other day! I feel so lucky to have so many talented people (like you) inspiring me to keep trying to improve my photos!

  26. Hahahaha, oh Ikea glasses. My collection is slowly dwindling as they chip, crack, and break. I totally laughed out loud at that. Asheley and I are having another couple over tomorrow for dinner and I’m totally making this. They are absolutely stunning!

    • So I read your comment. Then I stacked up two ikea glasses to carry them from the bedroom into the kitchen and one of them cracked seconds later. It’s like they knew I was talking crap about them! Oh my gosh – please tell me if you end up making this and how you like it!!

  27. Annie says:

    just entering all your giveaways ;)

  28. That color! It’s so beautiful and I love the idea of mixing blood orange and sage! Sounds amazing!

  29. Oh WOW this drink looks absolutely incredible!! I would love to make it for a dinner party, do you think it would be easy to double/quadruple the recipe? By the way I was a terrible klutz in high school too — not as much with breaking dishes but I TWICE walked into a MIRROR. Yikes.

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