Creating a sustainable environment is just as important at home as it is in commercial bars. So before you cut your oranges open for the juice, why not zest them and make a little Orange Liqueur at home.
Aside from being good for the planet, by using the whole of the fruit, making Orange Liqueur is a fun little project that’s really easy to do. Sure, it takes a bit of time, but you’ll be surprised at how flavoursome and satisfying it is to do it yourself.
Now while it’s not exactly the same, a homemade Orange Liqueur would probably be closer to a Triple Sec than a Curaçao (due to the fact that it is clear and not using a brandy base). Therefore, you can use it in any recipe that calls for Cointreau, such as a Jagerita or a Tokyo Sidecar. But note this recipe comes with a bit of a warning, as zesters are often deceivingly sharp.
700ml Vodka (we used Stolichnaya)
8 sweet oranges like navel (organic preferably)
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
Select oranges that are free of external blemishes and have bright orange peels. Rinse all the oranges in cold running water and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Peel thin strips with a citrus zester (the zester will allow you to take the peel without getting any of the pith which is quite bitter). Place the Orange zest into an airtight jar with a lid and pour in the vodka. Seal the jar securely.
Place the sealed jar in a cool dark place and allow the peels to soak for 2 (two) weeks. Agitate daily by shaking the sealed jar for three seconds or so.
Bring 2 cups of water to a slow boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 2 cups of sugar. Reduce the heat to low, and continue stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat, and allow it to cool uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid from the glass jar, and cover the opening with a piece of cheesecloth that has been folded in four layers. Pour the contents of the glass jar through the cheesecloth into the cooled sugar syrup. Pour the orange liqueur back into the empty glass jar, and seal the lid tightly.
Place the jar to the refrigerator for another two days of daily agitation. It’s ready to be sipped or added to a homemade cocktail.