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Blood Orange Food and Drink -- Worth Every Drop

LAS VEGAS ( MainStreet) -- With blood orange season entering its final weeks, TravelsinTaste has rounded up some of the tastiest ways to enjoy this antioxidant-laden fruit.

In California the "Too Hot Tamales" of TV fame -- chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken -- have mastered the blood orange cocktail with multiple concoctions: The wildly popular Pisco Sour at Border Grill in Downtown L.A. is a combination of pisco, lime, egg white powder and blood orange bitters -- so popular and delicious it is staying on the menu indefinitely. Also being served is the Pisco Sangre, a seasonal specialty drink with pisco and blood orange, and the Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita.

"At Border Grill, our favorite way to spice up the winter doldrums is with a ruby red, spicy, tart margarita made with the abundant blood oranges of the season and a little muddled jalapeno," says Milliken, co-chef and owner of Border Grill Restaurants and Truck, as well as a star of Bravo's Top Chef Masters.

Margaritas are also being poured at Samba inside the Mirage in Las Vegas. The Mirage Blood Orange Margarita combines El Jimador Silver Tequila, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Agave Nectar, Monin blood orange syrup, with fresh lime juice and dressed with an orange raspberry fruit chip. For a different kind of kick with your OJ, try Bar Moderno's Stone Wall at Aria, a delightful combination of Maker's Mark 46 Bourbon, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, fig jam and fresh lemon juice served over ice. And for true refreshment, J.R. Starkus, rm seafood's lead bartender, has created the On the Fly with Haymans Old Tom Gin, fresh-pressed blood OJ, Swedish herb bitters, fresh lemon juice, Velvet Falernum and tamarind vinegar.

The Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita is just one item at Los Angeles' Border Grill to take advantage of the too-brief blood orange season.

"I created On the Fly for my guests and their palate. The idea is for my guests to be introduced to an approachable cocktail that all guests will be eager to try," Starkus said. "I started out with ordinary ideas and tweaked the recipe with new ingredients, such as blood orange and vinegar, in hopes of creating a drink that the guest would not normally order."

In West Hollywood, Cecconi's fresh juice menu features Moro blood orange juice squeezed to order. Jeremy Back, bar manager of City Tavern in Culver City, features the Left at the Altar, an expert mixture of Nolet's gin, Cointreau, blood orange gastrique and forbidden bitters. For a classic cocktail, Andaz West Hollywood is serving a blood orange "Old Fashion," a concoction of red blossom farm blood orange, raspberries, agave syrup and bitters.

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