Fresh Ideas: Oranges With a Twist

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Vin D’Orange is a homemade preparation of wine infused with oranges, plus a few other delicious ingredients. It is a French apéritif, a drink meant to stimulate the appetite. Vin D’Orange is typically made with bitter oranges, but I prefer to use a combination of special organic oranges available only in the winter, such as blood oranges or Cara Caras, plus organic lemons.

I adapted this recipe from Sally Clarke, author of Sally Clarke’s Book: Recipes from a Restaurant, Shop & Bakery; Ms. Clarke recommends letting  everything infuse the wine (and shaking it every now and then to keep the sugar dissolved) for 2-6 weeks before adding rum and filtering it to a clean bottle (which can then be enjoyed for a year or more). This recipe should make about 1 quart.

Recipe for Vin D’Orange

Adapted from Sally Clarke’s Book: Recipes from a Restaurant, Shop & Bakery

Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon Mason jar with screw top lid, sterilized by washing in the dishwasher
  • 3 organic oranges (any variety will do, or use a combination of pink grapefruit and oranges), sliced into thick “wheels”
  • 2 organic lemons, sliced into thick “wheels”
  • 1 bottle rosé wine
  • 1 cup vodka (feel free to use an inexpensive one)
  • 2/3 cup organic sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half
  • 1 cup rum

Directions:

  1. Layer the sliced oranges and lemons in the glass jar, then add the sugar, cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean.
  2. Pour in the wine and the vodka, and screw the lid on tight. Shake well to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Allow to stand in the refrigerator for two-six weeks, shaking every week or so.
  4. Strain out the oranges, lemons, cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean and funnel into clean glass bottle(s) with the cup of rum added. Strained Vin D’Orange can be refrigerated for one year or more.
  5. Enjoy in small amounts as an apéritif.

–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen.

Photo credits: Winnie Abramson

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