We’ve had several weeks of uncharacteristic weather here in the UAE. Rainy day, after rainy day, after rainy day. I hate to complain because the rain is so rare in this region, but this isn’t what we signed up for. This is not London, or Seattle. No one owns an umbrella. When the sun came out in full force yesterday, I made this very impromptu blood orange & mint mocktail and soaked up the rays.
What’s special about this mocktail is that it’s not special at all, save the beautiful, imported blood oranges. There’s only three ingredients, a couple of blood oranges & mint, topped off with some sparkling water. You could easily make this a bonafide cocktail with maybe some tequila or rum, maybe even gin. I chose not to go that route. It was the middle of the day and I was alone. Drinking alone in the middle of the day is territory I wish not to venture into just yet. I haven’t suffered enough. I haven’t earned it.
These blood oranges caught my eye at Spinney’s, which has quickly become our grocery store. In Ras Al Khaimah, there are three main grocery stores, Carrefour, Spinney’s and Lulu. In Saudi Arabia, we used to go to Carrefour just for decent brown eggs with orange yolks, french butter and cheeses (Carrefour is a french chain). But in the Emirates, we’ve found eggs with orange yolks just about everywhere. It has been so easy to find them that we’ve become suspicious. Is there any way to artificially made egg yolks a deep orange color? A richer yolk color is generally thought to be indicative of the quality of the hen’s diet, but is there some commercial shortcut around feeding the hen well? Or are the eggs just on a whole a better quality here?
Anyhow, the Carrefour is farther away from us and not worth the trip for a couple of items. Lulu Hypermarket, a UAE chain which is also popular in Saudi Arabia, is even farther away. I’ve written about my love of Lulu before. Out of the three, it has the most adventurous inventory with lots of international products and a huge produce section. We’d go there more often if it were closer. However, dear Spinney’s has won us over with their selection of meat sans hormones, organic produce and an impressive array of pork products.
Now back to those blood oranges. They were so pretty, I thought I’d better take some photos to get my money’s worth. So there I was, sitting on our terrace, reacquainting myself with the blazing sun, making this blood orange & mint mocktail. I was doubtful that this combination of blood orange and mint would work, but it was pure perfection. Tart and herbal. The blood orange gives it a kind of cranberry note that you won’t get in a good old Valencia. And to bring this post full circle, it rained again the next morning.
Blood Orange & Mint Mocktail
(serves 1 self-indulgent individual)
2 blood oranges, halved and squeezed
1 tsp of chopped mint
1/3 cup of sparkling water