Orange Ina, Brandy

Orange marinerRecipe notes: What you will need: 1-qt Mason jar, very sharp paring knife, and strainer. Active time peeling and trimming pith, 1 hour. Inactive time: 90 days for infusion. Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Yields 1 liter.

Ingredients:

  • 20-juice oranges,* peeled, pith (white part) removed
  • 750ml-brandy
  • 2-vanilla beans split lengthwise

*The rind from juice oranges, such as Valencias, are thinner, and because they yield a greater degree of oil, the orange flavor is more pronounced to mimic the perfumed bitter orange peels used in Grand Mariner.

Preparation:

  1. Wash oranges thoroughly.
  2. Using sharp paring knife, peel oranges, being careful to avoid white part. Whatever white part remains needs to be shaved away as seen below in picture (2-3). Otherwise, if left, pith (white underside of skin) will cause the liqueur to become bitter.
  3. Hold sharp edge of knife at a slight 90 degree angle between pith and skin, and shave pith in strips. It may take a few tries to remove it entirely. I know what a tedious task it is— having made several of these citrus infusions—which is why I turn on the stereo and sit at the kitchen table with a small cutting board for this project. But it’s worth the effort to put out a quality product. Something you will be proud to pour, and display as your personal reserve.
  4. Collect peelings and place in Mason jar
  5. Push peelings to bottom of jar using a plunger from a food processor or facsimile to muddle rinds and release additional oils.
  6. Add brandy making sure peelings are completely submerged.
  7. Secure lid, and store in pantry to infuse.
  8. Juice oranges, and pour into ice-cube trays
  9. Freeze and transfer cubes to ziplock bag and reserve for mixer.
  10. Shake or stir infusion weekly

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3-Months later:

  1. Strain infusion reserving (1) vanilla bean and one or two peelings for display.
  2. Reserve remaining vanilla bean for baking.
  3. Discard remaining rind.
  • 1-cup water
  • 1-cup Stevia
  1. Bring 1-cup of water to a boil, add Stevia. Allow to cool.
  2. Pour simple syrup into infusion.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Transfer liqueur to desired bottle, add reserved orange peel and vanilla