How to make: Blood orange vanilla infused rum

During the winter months I do everything I can to preserve blood oranges. Last year, I made blood orange infused tequila. This year, I canned a few pints of cinnamon blood orange marmalade and made this blood orange vanilla infused rum. Both are very good, although their uses are not the same.

blood orange rum

After making the Buddha’s hand infused rum, I’ve been wanting to do more rum infusions. Since I had a bowl full of blood oranges on the counter, the idea came to me to do a blood orange rum. Except I wanted it to be a little different. That’s when I had the idea of throwing vanilla in the infusion. I figured it would give a nice creamy taste to the infusion and balance out the spice of the rum and the citrus in the fruit. Plus, I had a few vanilla beans laying around after making vanilla extract.

blood oranges

As you can see from the pictures, the blood orange vanilla infused rum turned a beautiful pink color. I started with two vanilla beans in the infusion but took one out after a day because the vanilla was coming on too strong. I suggest only using one vanilla bean and leaving it in longer if needed. My infusion took five days to get the flavor I wanted. The citrus-raspberry flavor of the blood oranges comes through nicely as does the creaminess of the vanilla. The infused rum works great in these blood orange vanilla cocktail recipes.

blood orange vanilla infused rum

When I posted a picture on Instagram of this blood orange vanilla infused rum, someone commented that it looked like a sea creature. Thankfully, it doesn’t taste like a sea creature. That would just be awful. And a waste of good blood oranges. And booze. And no one wants to waste either of those.

4.5 from 2 reviews
How to make: Blood orange vanilla infused rum
An easy tutorial on how to make blood orange vanilla infused rum for cocktails.
  • 2 blood oranges, sliced into wheels and peels removed including pith
  • 1 vanilla beans, cut open but not in half
  • 1 750 ml bottle of white rum - I used Bacardi
  1. Add blood orange wheels and vanilla bean to a quart size mason jar.
  2. Fill with rum and put a lid on the jar.
  3. Store in a cool, dark place and giving it a gently shake each day.
  4. Check the flavor of the infusion daily until you like how it tastes. This should take 3 to 5 days.
  5. Once the flavor is where you want it, strain the rum using a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth.
  6. Store in a glass bottle, labeled with the name and date and use as desired in cocktails. Don't forget to check out the three blood orange vanilla rum cocktails we shared.


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Jessica Torres is the chief cocktail creator here at One Martini. Outside of the internet, she works at DEATH & TAXES (a bar) and midtown eats (a restaurant) in Reno, Nevada. When not working, Jessica can be found working out, spending time with her family or attempting to nap. Subscribe to our newsletter to get all of the latest cocktail creations delivered directly to your inbox.
Filed under: Infused Alcohol
7 comments… add one
  • Peter T in Sydney May 3, 2015, 1:22 am

    Sounds great! Understand about removing the pith (too bitter) but why not leave scraped-out peel? Does it give too citrus-y a taste? I’ve made vanilla vodka and a little lime zest is good!

    • Jessica Torres May 15, 2015, 8:35 am

      I actually didn’t even think about leaving the peel. I loved the color that the infusion had with the fruit so I stuck with that. For my next batch, I’ll try adding some peel to see how it turns out.

  • B Miller May 13, 2015, 2:35 pm

    I was thinking the same thing as Peter, I’ve seen where they use the zesty part of the fruit avoiding the white and disregarding the actual fruit altogether. (Which I did indeed think was strange)

    • Jessica Torres May 15, 2015, 8:37 am

      Normally citrus infusions use just the zest of the fruit and not the pith or the fruit. I chose to use the fruit for this particular one because I wanted to impart some of the pink color from the blood oranges.

      And the carrot habanero sauce came from the book, Tart & Sweet. It’s fantastic and I use it on everything – especially eggs.

  • B Miller May 13, 2015, 2:39 pm

    Also I was looking for your Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce recipe 🙂

  • Cailin at Sassy Dove June 9, 2015, 3:54 pm

    Had a blood orange-vanilla martini at a fancy restaurant and wanted to replicate it, so I found this. So trying it – thank you!

  • Heidi August 21, 2017, 10:23 pm

    Is there a maximum amount of time a vanilla bean can be submerged in alcohol? I ask because I put several vanilla beans in a bottle of dark rum then I forgot about it. It’s been 3 or 4 years now. Being that it’s in alcohol, do you think it’s still okay?


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