Seville oranges (also known as sour oranges) are a common ornamental citrus tree here in Tucson (and also back in Florida and I’m guessing elsewhere in the citrus belt), and are very different from the commercial sweet oranges you find in the grocery store. These are wild oranges. On the outside they look pretty bumpy and gnarly, and on the inside they have seedy sour lemon-colored segments that one bite will indicate are definitely not meant for casual snacking.
And while the sourness is not quite lemon-like in flavor, they are still great for most recipes you’d use a lemon or lime in, like Seville orange pie (akin to lemon or Key lime pie), Seville orangeade (akin to lemonade), or in this recipe, an amaretto sour.
The best part about using Seville oranges is that they’re essentially free. They’ve been planted in parks and other public places, and since no one seems to want them, they tend to either litter the ground or rot on the tree. What a waste of perfectly good vitamin C! In mid-winter, prime Seville orange season here in Arizona, I stroll over to a nearby apartment complex that has dozens of huge trees overhanging the sidewalk, and I’ll fill up a couple of grocery bags’ worth of ripe oranges. The concept seems to be catching on, because sometimes I’m not even the only forager there!
Finally, after the hard work of collecting and juicing all those oranges, and then freezing most of it into Seville orange ice cubes for later, it’s time to relax with one of my own Tucson-foraged amaretto sours.