While researching orange liqueurs, I came across a basic recipe for one called "44 Orange" and had to try it.
It is a traditional european apertif made using an orange, coffee beans, sugar, and grain alcohol (vodka can also be used in a pinch). Some recipes call for cloves, cinnamon, and honey, but I will probably wait for my next batch to use some of these.
Step 1: Ingredients
1 Large Orange
6 Tbsp Sugar
44 Coffee Beans
4 Cups Grain Alcohol/ Vodka (highest proof you can find)
You Will Need:
A mason jar, or other airtight container
Veggie Wash (Optional)
Step 2: Wash Your Orange!
I recommend buying organic produce because it yields the best flavor but any kind of orange will do. Remember to wash it thoroughly, preferably with a fruit/veggie wash. This is important because the entire orange will be submerged in alcohol and whatever is on the orange peel will end up IN your final product.
Step 3: Stabbing the Orange
Poke 44 holes in the orange and insert a coffee bean in each opening. This was more fun that I originally imagined. Then put the orange inside of the jar. Fill the jar with 4 cups of grain alcohol/vodka. If you are using a regular-sized mason jar, this should take you pretty close to the tap..
Step 4: Add the Sugar
Now add your sugar over the top of the alcohol. The original recipe called for 44 sugar cubes but I substituted 6 tablespoons of sugar. Because sugar cubes come in so many sizes, the amount of sugar can too easily get out of hand, so proceed with caution. I found 6 tbsps to be a good starting amount and more can be added later to taste.
Step 5: Remember the Date
It is a good idea to put a tag on the jar somewhere so that you remember the date you created this concoction. You will need to store it for 44 days in a dark, cool place before removing the orange/coffeebeans. Be sure to shake it up every once in awhile to ensure the sugar dissolves.