Orange Crush Recipe
By Al Sotack
The fact that the Orange Crush remains a vaguely recognizable soda fountain delicacy today due to its loose relationship to a brand and family of orange soda is a bit ironic. According to Darcy O’Neil's soda fountain guide and history Fix the Pumps, the crush was originally a drink style that developed specifically around fresh ingredients. Most soda fountain syrups were made with extracts (using alcohol) and other methods that ensured shelf stability, but a crush signaled your drink would be made with whole fruit from scratch. This very much reminds me of the early days of the cocktail revival in the aughts, when the word fresh purposefully preempted every juice on most menus.
With this recipe I can't help but bring my modern cocktail sensibilities back to the mix. In this case it means making a syrup from fresh orange that will last you nearly a week if stored in the fridge. While many syrups are made workably acidic with the addition of citric acid, I personally like using the acid phosphate, like the one from O’Neil's Extinct Chemical Company. You can try subbing about ½ oz. of lemon juice, but the neutrality of the phosphate really lets the orange be orange. It's crushable, honestly.
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Peel 2 oranges with a vegetable peeler; reserve peels. Juice oranges into a liquid measuring cup to measure ½ cup. Transfer juice to a blender and add ½ cup sugar. Blend until sugar dissolves, about 20 seconds—if you taste it, it should not be gritty.
Return syrup to liquid measuring cup. Express oil from reserved peels into cup and stir to combine. Pour into a resealable jar. Seal and chill until ready to use.
Do ahead: Orange syrup can be made 6 days ahead. Keep chilled. Shake well before using.
Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add 1 oz. chilled club soda.
Combine 1 tsp. acid phosphate, 1 oz. Orange Syrup, and 2 dashes orange bitters, if using, in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake just until lightly chilled, about 5 seconds.
Strain into prepared glass. Top off with more club soda. Garnish with orange twist.
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Pretty much the ultimate orange soda.
6/5/20232 oranges ½ cup sugar Do ahead: 1 oz. chilled club soda 1 tsp. acid phosphate 1 oz. Orange Syrup 2 dashes orange bitters orange twist Sign In Subscribe