This lovely Vin d’Orange recipe comes from Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Handcrafted Squashes, Shrubs, Switchels, Tonics, and Infusions to Mix at Home by Emily Han, and is best to make during winter, when citrus fruits are at their best, ready to enjoy through the next spring or summer.
Read more about Wild Drinks and Cocktails in our review, and have a go at this delicious recipe.
Homemade Vin D’Orange
Here’s a vital bit of kitchen (and wildcrafting) wisdom: some recipes are meant to be enjoyed right away, while others are lovingly prepared for future pleasure. Vin d’orange falls into the latter category. Infused with winter citrus fruits, it reaches its prime in spring or summer—and that’s when you’ll thank yourself for having such foresight. (It’s also when you’ll lament that you didn’t put up more!) Served as an aperitif, vin d’orange is traditionally made from bitter oranges and dry white or French-style rosé wine. Depending on where you live, bitter oranges may be hard to locate, so this version calls for more readily available navel oranges plus grapefruit. The result is a wine that’s pleasantly bittersweet—delicious on its own over ice, or mixed with a little sparkling water.
- 2 large navel oranges (preferably Cara Cara)
- 1 small grapefruit (preferably white)
- 1/2 vanilla bean , split
- 100 g sugar
- 120 ml vodka
- 60 ml brandy
- 750 ml dry white or dry rosé wine
Variation: To use bitter oranges, replace the oranges and grapefruit with 3 Seville oranges.
Rinse and dry the oranges and grapefruit. Trim and discard the stem ends. Cut each orange into 1/4-inch-thick (6 mm) rounds. Cut the grapefruit in half and then cut each half into 1/4-inch-thick (6 mm) half-circles.
Combine the oranges, grapefruit, vanilla, and sugar in a sterilized quart (1 L) jar. Pour the vodka, brandy, and wine into the jar and push the fruit down with a wooden spoon to submerge it as much as possible (it will insist on floating up). Cover the jar tightly.
Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 1 month, shaking it daily to moisten the floating pieces of fruit with the alcohol mixture.
Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the solids.
Bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Age for at least 1 month before drinking: the Vin d’Orange will continue to improve with age. Serve chilled.
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Recipe extract from Wild Drink and Cocktails by Emily Han, published with permission from Fair Wind Press. Kavey Eats received a review copy of Wild Drinks and Cocktails. Published by Fair Winds Press, a member of the Quarto Publishing Group, this title is currently available for £14.99 (RRP).