Burnt Mandarin Orange Gin and Tonic is a fun twist of the classic. Torched mandarins added nice caramelized flavors. Combine with lime juice, gin and tonic, it’s one lovely yet easy citrus cocktail!
My in-laws gave us a box of mandarin oranges from their tree. How can the 2 of us eat all of them? Other than giving some to my sister, I have been trying to use them in different ways. This gin and tonic is an absolute winner!
How do you burn mandarin oranges? It’s more like slightly charred and caramelized. Cut the oranges into slices or halves. Pat dried with paper towels, then sprinkle with sugar. Use a blow torch to torch the sugar and oranges until sugar is bubbling and some brown spots on surface. It’s pretty much like how you make creme brûlée. Because there is juice in an orange, it won’t browned as nicely as a creme brûlée. As long as you see a little char here and there, you’re good.
When you squeeze the juice out from the burnt mandarin oranges, you get a little bit of caramelized and charred flavors mixed in with the juice. That will add an extra layer of flavors to the cocktail.
Gin and tonic is Bryan’s favorite cocktail. It’s always his go-to when he goes to a bar. I love the variety of flavors from different gin, from floral to woody. It’s one of my favorite liquors to use. For this recipe, I use St George Terroir Gin. It’s made in Northern California. They use Douglas fir, bay laurel, and sage, so it really tastes like the wood and forest. It’s a very unique flavor and we love it! I think that gin is strong in flavors and works really well with the burnt mandarin oranges. But not everyone likes that woody note, if that is the case for you, go with something more classic, like Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire or St George Botanivore gin.
That’s it. Stir all the liquid together and the cocktails are ready to be served. Hope you enjoy this fun recipe! Don’t forget to let me know if you make this recipe.
Burnt Mandarin Oranges Gin and Tonic
- 5 mandarin oranges
- 1 – 1½ tablespoons sugar or raw sugar
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice (about ½ lime)
- 3 ounces gin
- 10 – 12 ice cubes
- 6 ounces tonic water
- Cut the mandarin oranges in half. Take one of the halves and cut into 1/8-inch slices. Place all these oranges on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Transfer the baking sheet on top of the stove.
- To torch the mandarin oranges, start with a few at a time. First pat dried the top of the oranges with a paper towel. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon sugar on each top. With a blow torch, carefully torch the mandarin oranges until bubbling and getting some burnt spots, about 1 – 2 minutes each. Repeat with the rest of the mandarin oranges. Set them aside to cool for a couple minutes.
- Once cooled, place a sieve over a large measuring cup. Squeeze the mandarin oranges over the measuring cup to get all the juice. Discard any seeds and sugar pieces. You should have 4 ounces (1/2 cup) juice. Stir in the lime juice and gin.
- Fill 2 serving glasses half full with ice cubes. Divide the gin mixture into the glasses. Pour 3 ounces of tonic water into each glass. Garnish with mandarin orange slices. Serve.
- You can use any mandarin oranges, like tangerines or clementine. But it’s best if they’re sweet. If they’re sour, use less juice and omit lime juice.
- Make sure the surfaces of the mandarins are not wet when covering with the sugar. Instead of being caramelized, the sugar will melt and dissolve into the juice.
- If you don’t have a blow torch, you can use the broiler in the oven. Move an oven rack closer to the broiler. Place the mandarin oranges in the oven to broil until bubbling and slightly charred, about 5 – 10 minutes. Keep an close eye on them, so they don’t burnt too much.
- Gin has many flavor profiles. Some taste more floral, some taste woodier and earthier. I recommend to use something stronger, like the woodier one. A stronger gin can stand with the burnt mandarin oranges a bit better. The one I used is St George Terroir Gin. It’s made with Douglas fir, bay laurel and sage along with coriander seeds and juniper berries. It has a woody note, which is very unique. But if you are not a fan or you don’t have that on hand, use any classic gin that you like.