I saw this recipe on a blog recently and it peaked my interest. The only problem, the grapefruit’s at the market were A. not on sale and B. they did not look appealing at all. However, oranges were and they were bright and sunny and blemish free.

The wheels of my brain began turning; oranges and a bit of fresh basil might be just what the Dregs of Winter needed to foster the hope of more sunshine and warmer weather.

The recipe is surprisingly simple. It would work with a variety of fruit and herb combinations and really, why wouldn’t you want to make seasonal beverages to brighten your day?


  • Oranges – juiced, pulp included, to make 4 cups. I bought an 8 lb bag and it gave me exactly 4 cups of juice.
  • 2-3 cups of sugar – I used 2 cups and it was sweet enough, but you could use less if you desire.
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves

Combine the orange juice and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced to approximately 2 ½ cups. While the volume is not absolutely critical, what you are looking for is a slightly syrupy liquid that has thickened. Once it has reduced enough, turn off the heat. Place the basil leaves in the liquid and allow it to cool. Once cooled, strain liquid and place in a sterile container. This liquid will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


Just add a couple of ounces to a glass of sparkling water or club soda and you have a uniquely tasty soda to remind you that the winter will indeed end and warm and sunny days are coming.


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