I've been obsessed with making liqueurs lately and this is my version of an orange liqueur (basically a stronger triple sec). Perfect to add to a margarita or an apertif!
What you will need:
3 large oranges
A bottle of Everclear or higher proof vodka
An airtight jar or bottle
Step 1: Wash Your Oranges!
Use a veggie wash or be sure to rinse your oranges very well. Since you are using the peel, anything residue on the outside of the orange will end up in your final product! I got this Veggie Wash from a local grocery store for about $4, and it took all of the wax and dirt off of the oranges.
Step 2: Zest the Oranges
I am so horrible at zesting. I bought a cheap zester from Target and it broke almost immediately. I won't make that mistake again! You can also use a vegetable peeler but be extremely careful not to get any of the white pith as it makes the liqueur bitter.
Zest all three of the oranges and put the peels in your bottle/jar.
Step 3: Pour in the Booze
Put the orange zest and add 2 cups of Everclear or strong Vodka. You'll store this for at least a month while the liquor absorbs the orange flavor.
Step 4: After a Month (Or So...)
Remove the peels from mixture. You can do this by straining it thru a mesh colander. I dissolved a half cup of sugar in a half cup of water and then added it to this mixture, however this produced a liqueur with a very high alcohol content (I used Everclear). Start with this amount and do a taste test. If it is too strong add another 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water mixture.
Put everything back in the jar, back on the shelf for at least another month. This will allow the flavors to mature.
Step 5: Bottling
After the long wait, you can bottle up your concoction for easier storage. I use Grolsch bottles for everything because they are inexpensive and because they are reusable. You can also pick up similar bottles at kitchenware stores like Sur La Table.
Replace it in any recipes that call for Triple Sec, or enjoy it cold.
If you have any tips/suggestions, let me know!