Introduction: How to Make Gourmet Orange Juice

There is nothing quite better than a freshly squeezed glass of Orange Juice at any point in the day.

The old fashioned way is simple enough, cut-juice-drink. However, this method hardly satiates a thirst for something truly refreshing.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the simple and quick process to create a delicious, crisp, version of what we all have grown up loving.

Lets go!

Step 1: Preparation!

Before we can get started there are a few essential items to gather.

First, wash your hands and make sure you have a clean work space

Set out:

-a measuring cup (for liquids)

-a medium sized, non-serrated knife

-a spoon, for stirring

-a cutting board

You will also need the following:

-2 Large navel oranges

-1/4 cup (60 mL) of Purified, Cold Water

-3/4 cup (180 mL) of large Ice cubes

-1-3 teaspoons (5, 10, or 15 mL) of Agave Nectar

-Alternately 1-3 teaspoons of Splenda or regular granulated sugar

This recipe will make about 1 cup (240 mL) of Orange juice. If you're in need of thirst quenching for two, the recipe can be doubled for twice as much goodness.

Step 2: Soften the Oranges

Now get your oranges and soften them. Soften Oranges?! How you ask? Simple.

Take the palm of your hand and place it on the top of an orange and roll it around on the cutting board. Apply light pressure and roll in a circular motion for approximately 30 seconds per orange.

It's like my Grandma used to say, "A relaxed orange is a tasty orange."

Step 3: Cut the Oranges in Half

That's right. Slice those bad boys right down the center.

*If you would like to garnish your final product cut a thin slice of orange off of any one of the halves now and set it aside for later

WARNING: a lack of garnish may result in unimpressed peers and scoffing at your finalized "gourmet" beverage

Step 4: ​Peel Two of the Orange Halves

Now that the Oranges are cut in half, peeling will be as easy as... well as easy as peeling an orange.

Use both hands to carefully separate the orange from the rind. Squeeze too hard here and you will lose some of that tasty juice nectar.

We will leave the peel on 2 of the orange halves, they will come into the mix in a few steps.

Step 5: Remove the Pith

Hone in your Operation! skills and use the tip of your knife to ever-so-carefully remove the pith.

The pith? Yep, that's exactly right. The stringy, white, root-like center that comes down from the navel of the orange can be removed.

*If you are more of the "earthy" type, you can leave the pith in and it will make the final product more bitter than without.

Step 6: Gather 3/4 Cup of Ice Cubes

I know what you're thinking, Ice in orange juice?! What is this, a smoothie?

But have no fear, while blending the friction will heat up the Orange juice and the ice will melt and allow the final product to come out cool and ready to drink.

The smaller the ice cubes the better it will work.

*Metric conversion:

3/4 Cup = 180 mL

Step 7: Gather 1/4 Cup of Cold, Purified Water

It isn't much, but a little goes a long way. Distilled water, bottled water or any purified water will do.

It will make a difference, I promise.

It's okay, I know you are thinking "tap water will be fine", and it is, but this is "Gourmet" orange juice, not "fine" orange juice. Have some standards.

* Metric conversion: 1/4 cup = 60 mL

Step 8: Optional Sweetener Add-ins

If you don't have Agave you can use sugar, however, it will drastically reduce the "gourmet" factor of your Orange Juice.

Agave is a natural sweetener similar to honey but less syrupy.

Splenda, or other artificial sweeteners, are an option if dietary restrictions apply.

Measure out 1-3 teaspoons and have on hand.

1=subtle sweetness

2= mild sweetness

3= dessert sweetness

It is recommended to start with a little and add as you see fit. You can always add more, but you can't take it out

*Metric conversion:

1 teaspoon = 5 mL

2 teaspoons = 10 mL

3 teaspoons = 15 mL

Step 9: Combine!

Alright, the time has finally come!

Add the peeled Oranges, Ice, Water, and selected Sweetener into a blender.

Squeeze in the two halves that still have a peel on them by placing a half in between your palms and applying heavy pressure and shifting your hands back and forth. Repeat for the second and final half.

Order doesn't matter at this point, just get it all in there, and quickly! I'm dying of thirst over here.

Step 10: Blend!

Blend on a "medium-to-high" speed, or "juice" level if your blender has it, and let run for 20 seconds.

Stir with your spoon, if you opted to have one, or alternately just shake the blender a little and repeat in 10 second increments until all ice is gone and product is smooth.

This should be no more than a total of 60 seconds.

Step 11: Enjoy!

Pour that tasty, gourmet goodness into a glass and add your garnish at this time.

Drink up and savor the fruits of your labor!