One of my very favourite things to make each year, is several batches of a lovely orange aperitif from Southern France, called Vin d’Orange. Sounds fancy, but it’s simple to make – perhaps an hour if you take your time.
The aroma of Seville oranges is unmatched, so I like to wait for the season in winter and then jump on a whole boxful! However this is wonderful with any orange – a friend of mine does hers with blood oranges. Either way, whip some up almost any time of year and stash it away. You’ll thank yourself on the first hot afternoon of summer, when you pull out a cold bottle to share over ice. It’s a great Christmas gift too!
One batch makes around two 750ml bottles, and the whole process takes around three weeks.
- One litre of dry white wine. There’s no need to go for fancy brands of wine or brandy. I use the best dry cask white I can find, as it’s cheap and converts easily to litre batches.
- One cup of brandy (or golden rum)
- The zest of four Seville oranges (orange part only) – or use three oranges and one grapefruit
- 1 1/3 cups of sugar.
Leave it all in a jar in a dark place for about three weeks, stirring or shaking every day until the sugar is dissolved. Then strain into sterilised bottles, and keep for a year or more. The added alcohol from the brandy will boost the alcohol up enough so that the wine will stay delicious.
There are a few good recipes out there, this one is adapted from Stephanie Alexander.
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