“To attract good fortune, spend a new penny on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon.” ~ Chinese Proverb
Dragons have always been a fascination of mine. What is more fun than a mythical, fire breathing beast that sparks the imagination? From Tomie dePaola’s children’s book, The Knight and the Dragon, to Katie MacAlister’s fantasy, Love in the Time of Dragons, if a book has “dragon” in the title, I will at least have a peek. And now, it is the Year of the Dragon. I couldn’t be happier.
Well, actually, I could.
You see, there is the matter of bubbles. I love bubbly drinks. For awhile, I switched from the mass market soda pops – full of sugar and health impacting artificial (read: chemical) colors and flavors – to naturally flavored carbonated fruit juices. But, even these are high in sugars and they are very expensive. Enter the home carbonator.
We bought a SodaStream System to start carbonating our tap water and add our own flavors with their naturally occurring colors. No sugar. This is a cheaper and more earth-friendly alternative to buying club soda, which I can go through at an alarming rate, and the effect is the same as using the prepared varieties.
When we picked up a couple of blood oranges from the grocery store produce department a few days ago, inspiration struck. Thus was born the Dragon’s Eye Cocktail. So easy, it is almost a shame to call it a recipe, but from time to time we do need to be reminded that simple can be best.
Blood oranges are slightly sweeter and somewhat smaller than typical oranges. The inside flesh is dark red, while the outer peel is generally orange with a patch of red blush. Make no mistake, however, that this recipe is all about the color.
Dragon’s Eye Cocktail
Time: 3 minutes
For each cocktail…
1 blood orange
1 cup carbonated water (club soda or soda water), chilled
1 sprig of fresh mint
Cut the orange in half crosswise, then cut a slice off to use as garnish (the dragon’s eye). Juice the halves directly into a glass – it should yield close to ½ cup.
Make a cut through the peel on the slice and perch it on the edge of the glass. Stand the mint sprig (the dragon’s tail) up in the glass and fill with the club soda. Serve while cold to all dragon lovers.
Learning about all the “not foods” that are used to flavor and color sodas is also rather off-putting – maybe even more so than the sugars. Reading articles about the health effects of these ingredients is enough to turn off the “I want” switch permanently. If you’ve been having trouble resisting the bubbly bliss, just read this article, which sums it all up very nicely: http://www.rodale.com/facts-about-soda