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Orange Liqueur
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This recipe is from our Winter, 2011, issue of Graze. Our Local Food Bloggers' Potluck featured a variety of homemade breads, soups and sandwich makings.   Cake walk blogger Rebecca Gagnon livened up the evening with this homemade orange liqueur.

Ingredients

4 Cara Cara oranges, sliced, dehydrated until crisp (non-dehydrated will work if desired, the flavor change should be minimal.)

Peel from 6-8 Naval oranges, use a peeler to create strips of peel, then slice them in 1/8" julienne.

1 750mL bottle Everclear or other grain alcohol

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Orange Liqueur
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Directions

  1. Put the dehydrated orange slices and the orange peel into a half gallon canning jar or other large jar. Put in a cool, dark place, shaking every few days, to infuse for about a month. When ready to bottle and dilute, strain out the oranges and measure the remaining liquid. The peel will be bleached and pale, and the infused alcohol will be bright orange.
  2. To the measure of the infused grain alcohol, add 1 1/2 times the amount of spring water, and half the beginning measure of sugar.  (For example, if the beginning measure was 866 ml of infused alcohol, add 1299 ml water and 433 ml sugar.) 
  3. Heat the spring water with the sugar just enough for the sugar to dissolve completely, then let it cool to room temperature before adding the infused grain alcohol.
  4. Strain it through several layers of fine mesh cheesecloth to remove the little bits of orange oil that you will see floating on the top, but I preferred to leave it unfiltered and enjoy the bitter orange flavor it imparts.

    To make the orange cocktail:  add 1 part orange liqueur (1 oz.) to an old-fashioned glass filled half full with ice.  Add 5 parts (5 oz.) Cava Brut (or any dry sparkling white wine).  Garnish with an orange or lemon peel, or a little microplaned peel over the top.

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