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.
Step 6: Storing and Enjoying
After the 44 days are up, remove the orange and coffee beans, and strain the rest. If you used Everclear (grain alcohol), it will be much too strong to enjoy straight, so add at least one cup of water. Some may prefer a bit more water to tone it down. If you used vodka it should not be too powerful but it is really up to taste.
Put it in a new bottle and enjoy it chilled!