Sour Orange Juice (What Is It, Uses, Why It Tastes Sour + More)

You have come to love sweet orange juice made from navels and mandarins, but have you ever wondered about different orange juice flavors?

If you have seen sour orange juice, you may be wondering what sour orange juice is. I looked up the facts and here is what I discovered!

What Is Sour Orange Juice?

Sour orange juice is sourced from Seville oranges, which are known for their lemon-like taste and intense aroma. Although sour orange juice is not usually used for drinking, sour orange juice is great for marmalades and marinades. Additionally, you can also combine sour orange juice with different alcohols to create cocktails like Orange Blossom or Seville Orange Margarita. 

If you want to learn more about sour orange juice then keep on reading!

What Is Sour Orange Juice?

Sour orange juice is orange juice extracted from Seville oranges because Seville oranges are known for having an acidic taste.

Sour orange juice is characterized by having a lemon-like flavor while still having the subtle sweetness of oranges.

Additionally, Sour orange juice also has an intense aroma that is distinct from other orange juices.

How Much Juice Is In A Sour Orange?

Sour oranges are considered big to medium in size, measuring seven to eight in diameter. Each fruit can yield an average of four tablespoons, which is equal to one-fourth cup.

Typically, sour oranges are not eaten raw because sour oranges are extremely sour, but sour oranges have thin peels and juicy flesh that are great for juicing.

How Long Does Sour Orange Juice Last?

Freshly squeezed sour orange juice lasts for approximately two hours outside of the refrigerator. Any longer than this and you should throw sour orange juice away because fresh sour orange juice spoils quickly.

Generally, orange juice is classified as perishable and will go bad once exposed to warm temperatures.

If opened and exposed to air for longer than two hours, bacteria will cause unsafe fermentation in your sour orange juice.

How Do I Preserve Sour Orange Juice?

How Do I Preserve Sour Orange Juice? 

You can extend the shelf life of your sour orange juice by 2-3 days by storing sour orange juice in the refrigerator.

If you want to extend the shelf life of sour orange juice further, you can freeze sour orange juice.

Frozen sour orange juice will retain freshness for 3-6 months, and sour orange juice can last forever if kept at a constant 0° temperature.

However, it is best to consume your frozen sour orange juice within four months to ensure that the flavor has not deteriorated.

Can Sour Orange Juice Be Diluted For Drinking?

If you think that sour orange juice is too extreme for your palate, then you can dilute sour orange juice.

Diluting sour orange juice is a common practice in South America and they call the drink Naranjada, which has a bubbly feel and refreshing, lightly fruity taste.

To dilute sour orange juice, you can mix half a cup of sugar and one and a half cup of water then add water and sugar into the juice from four sour oranges.

Once stirred, add in sparkling water and extra sugar if desired, storing the diluted orange juice in the fridge or adding ice and serving immediately.

Can You Use Sour Orange Juice As A Marinade?

Due to sour orange juice’s sourness and highly-acidic properties, sour orange juice is great to use as a marinade.

Sour orange juice is an excellent way to tenderize meats like pork chops and steaks.

Additionally, sour orange juice is used as a marinade in Caribbean cuisine because sour orange juice gives bitter, tangy,  and distinct flavors to meat.

To use sour orange juice as a marinade, combine seedless sour orange juice with smashed garlic, salt, olive oil, cumin, oregano, and a bay leaf.

Once the ingredients are blended, soak your meat in the mixture overnight or for at least an hour.

Is Sour Orange Juice Good For Marmalade?

One of the most common uses for sour orange juice is making marmalades, and sour oranges are the ideal fruits for marmalade because sour oranges have bittersweet flavors.

For the recipe, you will need whole sour orange fruits, sugar, whiskey, and vanilla bean.

Can You Combine Sour Orange Juice And Lemon Juice?

While being unusual, it is possible to combine sour orange juice and lemon juice to create a recipe called Seville Orangeade.

Simply mash sour orange slices with sugar until most of the juices are extracted then add water and lemon juice until you get a flavor you like.

Next, strain the mixture to remove seeds then add ice. Seville Orangeade tastes the right kind of sour with bits of sweetness, just like a spritzer.

Does Sour Orange Juice Go With Alcohol?

With sour orange juice’s unique flavor profile, there’s no doubt that sour orange juice will complement well with a variety of alcohols.

Generally, sour orange juice can be a chaser or a great cocktail mixer for vodka, whiskey, rum, or gin drinks.

For instance, the Seville Orange Margarita is made with tequila, sour orange juice, and agave nectar, creating a light drink with some tartness.

Additionally, sour orange juice goes well with traditional Orange Blossom, which is a mix of sour orange juice with vodka, Cointreau, and Simple syrup, creating a drink with a strong orange flavor and a little bitterness.

Read our other articles to learn about what unsweetened orange juice is, what blood orange juice is, and what IHOP orange juice is.


Sour orange juice is not your typical orange juice that is full of sweetness because sour orange juice is lemon-like in flavor while still having the slight sweetness of oranges.

Due to sour orange juice’s unique flavor profile, sour orange juice can be used as a marinade to tenderize the meat and as an ingredient for marmalades and cocktails.

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