Are blood oranges sweet? (+3 quick recipes)

In this brief guide, we will answer “are blood oranges sweet?” and discuss what is a blood orange, how to pick and store blood oranges, what are their health benefits, how to use blood oranges and 3 quick recipes of blood orange juice.

Are blood oranges sweet?

Yes, blood oranges are sweet with hints of berry flavor. They belong to Citrus sinensis, which is a sweet orange group that also includes navel oranges along with blood oranges. These two are commonly cultivated sweet orange varieties. 

Tarocco blood oranges are sweeter and easier to peel than other two common types of blood oranges.

What is a blood orange?

A blood orange is a hybrid fruit of oranges and raspberries. The color of its flesh varies from crimson to purple to scarlet and blood red. This color is due to an anthocyanin pigment chrysanthemin. 

This pigment starts developing from the peel and moves towards the centre. So, a blood orange can have lines or streaks of red color, depending upon their variety and time of harvesting.

Blood oranges originated from Italy and they have three main types: sanguinello, tarocco and moro. They grow well in mediterranean climates of Italy, Spain and California.

Other least famous varieties are maltese, ruby blood, delfino, khanpur, washington sanguine, vaccaro, entra fina etc. The sweetest one is maltese. 

Blood orange season lasts from December to April or May and they don’t ripen after being harvested from the trees. 

How to pick and store blood oranges?

To pick a juicy blood orange, check for its size. It will have a heavy size due to its water content. Also, try to pick darker and redder skinned blood oranges.

Blood oranges can be stored for a longer time because they have a thick peel and they don’t ripen after harvest as further ripening also fastens the fruit’s decline.

You can store blood oranges as a whole or cut in the fridge or on the kitchen shelf but their aroma and flavor doesn’t last longer. The best way is to freeze their zest that can last for several months.

Other FAQs about Oranges which you may be interested in.

How to know if the oranges are spoiled?

How to use blood oranges?

Blood oranges are sweeter than other oranges so they can be used to make marmalades and different cocktails. The zest of blood oranges is used in baking goods. Blood orange juice is also used in making some delicious recipes. 

What are the health benefits of blood oranges?

Blood oranges are an enriched source of Vit C, Vit A, potassium, manganese, antioxidants, anthocyanins, dietary fibers and flavonoids.  They have following benefits:

  • Vit C stimulates collagen production in your body which is essential for healthy bones, teeth, skin and hair. It also improves your immune system and heart health.
  • Vit C also helps to lower the cholesterol level and increase the iron absorption in your body
  • Dietary fibers are good for your digestive system
  • Antioxidants are known to have anti-cancer properties and lowering your risk of chronic diseases
  • Anthocyanins reduce the risk of heart diseases and help to improve memory
  • Flavonoids reduce the risk of strokes (specifically the risk of ischemic strokes in women)

3 quick recipes of blood orange juice

Bloody Margarita: 3 min recipe (1 serving)

Ingredients you need:

  1. 1 ounce blood orange juice (try to use freshly squeezed juice)
  2. ½ ounce lemon juice
  3. 1 ½ ounce tequila
  4. ¾ ounce premium triple sec (like cointreau)

How to prepare:

  1. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail mixer
  2. Add ice cubes and shake well
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass
  4. Enjoy!

Blood orange and strawberry smoothie: 5 min recipe (4 servings)


  1. 2 cups of blood orange juice
  2. 1 cup washed strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  3. 6 ounce vanilla yogurt (try frozen)
  4. 4 ounce ice cubes
  5. 2 tbsp honey
  6. 4 orange slices, 4 sprigs mint and 4 strawberries for garnishing

How to make:

  1. Mix and blend all the ingredients (except ice) into a blender 
  2. Add ice cubes and pulse the blender until they are crushed
  3. Pour into four glasses and garnish with orange slices, mint and strawberries
  4. Enjoy!

Blood orange vinaigrette: 5 min recipe (4 servings)

Ingredients you need:

  1. ¼ cup blood orange juice
  2. ⅔ cup olive oil
  3. 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  4. ½ clove crushed and fine chopped garlic
  5. 1 tbsp chopped shallots
  6. 2 tbsp fresh parsley and chives finely chopped

How to prepare:

  1. Mix and shake well all the ingredients in a jar or you can whisk them in a bowl
  2. Enjoy!


In this brief guide, we answered “are blood oranges sweet?” and discussed what is a blood orange, how to pick and store blood oranges, what are their health benefits and how to use blood oranges. We also gave you 3 quick recipes of blood orange juice.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.