If you weren’t already aware, I was delivered an enormous crate of oranges this past week and I’ve been eating citrus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though I have been eating my daily dose of Vitamin C by snacking on citrus wedges, making salads (orange, fennel and olive!), dehydrating slices for cocktails and rustic Christmas ornaments, there are still a lot of oranges left!
Hence, why I decided to make orange marmalade! Inspired by my dear friend Giorgia, I decided that after peeling all those oranges for my marmalade, discarding the rinds seemed like quite a waste. So, #sustainabilityhacks to the rescue. I decided to use the rinds to make a version of limoncello but with oranges!
This recipe essentially follows the same process as limoncello. In fact I adapted the recipe from Jamie Oliver with whom I have a love-hate dynamic—I love his recipes and shows, but I was disappointed with his restaurant chains. That said, I can’t deny that this is a fabulous limoncello.
Making limoncello—or in this case arancello!—is super simple. All you need are oranges, sugar, pure alcohol and water. The steps are straightforward and just require some patience while waiting for the alcohol to infuse before adding sugar water. I repeat, super easy.
I have already depleted a bottle of homemade arancello and my friends, all of whom have had nothing but good things to say about this liqueur. It’s sweet, vibrant, tangy and perfect to cleanse the palate after a heavy meal. It’s also fabulous in a summery cocktail.
Though I have made limoncello in the past using vodka sweetened with simple syrup, working with pure alcohol truly gives an unparalleled result. Because 95% alcohol isn’t available in Canada, I was initially a bit nervous to work with it, but I’m glad that I decided to venture out of my comfort zone. Standing next to rows of wine bottles, pure alcohol can be found at any Italian supermarket and is vital in making liqueurs like limoncello.
After comparing with a bottle of citrus-infused vodka, the infused pure alcohol had a smoother, sweeter taste and more vibrant orange colour, whereas the vodka was translucent in colour and burned a bit, unlike the pure alcohol.
If you can get your hands on a bottle of pure alcohol (made for consumption!), I definitely recommend giving this recipe a go. I can’t wait to make arancello, limoncello and maybe even a grapefruit rendition next!
. . .
*Makes 2 glass bottles*
12 orange rinds, whites removed
1 (500 mL) bottle of 95% alcohol made for consumption
2 cups sugar
6 cups water
2 (1 litre) glass bottles
Remove any white part of the orange rinds before adding them to a jar filled with pure alcohol. Let rest for 1 week.
Strain the infused alcohol into a bowl and discard the peels.
In a large jar, add sugar and water. Whisk until all the sugar has dissolved.
Whisk in the infused alcohol together with the sugar-water mixture.
Use a funnel to evenly distribute the arancello into glass bottles.
Keep in the fridge and serve after dinner or add in a cocktail!