Without a doubt one of the most annoying things about this time of year, when bloggers start to talk Christmas and making presents, is seeing something that would be a good present, that fits your skills level and then realising that if you wanted to give it as a gift, you should have started in August!
This is particularly true of alcoholic gifts. I’ve made plum gin, cherry brandy and raspberry gin to give away at Christmas and I did start making them way back in the summer, so I’m not going to torment you by telling you what perfect gifts they’d make.
This Vin d’Orange though. This fits all the homemade foodie presents sweet spots. It’s easy to make, it’s relatively cheap, and you can start today and it’ll be ready just in time for Christmas!
I’ve wanted to make Vin d’Orange for a while but every recipe I see requires seville oranges and 3 litres of wine preferably rose (preferably Côtes de Provence rose), a bottle of vodka and a 40 day wait.
Seville oranges have a very short season, slap bang after Christmas, in January and February. Every year I think about it and every year, after the excess of Christmas, I’m not in the right mood (and let’s be real here) don’t have the spare cash for alcohol related projects.
This recipe for vin d’orange (from David Lebotviz) uses navel oranges, a bottle of rose, half a cup of vodka and has a 2 week wait, which seems altogether more reasonable. Vin d’Orange can be drunk on it’s own with ice or be added to a glass of fizz. I think it would also work as a lighter drink just with tonic or fizzy water.
A small note on the wine, it doesn’t have to be the best bottle of rose that you’ve ever drunk, you’re going to be adding lots of ingredients to it but the maxim ‘garbage in, garbage out’ is worth bearing in mind here and Cotes de Provence is a dry rose wine, so a dry rose is what you are looking for here. I used a bottle of Sainsburys Cotes du Rhone (I would link to it but I can’t find it on the website!) it was about £6.
2 navel oranges, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 750ml bottle of dry rose wine
Half a cup of sugar
Half a cup of vodka
One vanilla pod, split lengthwise
One cinnamon stick
1. Mix sugar, vodka and wine together in your jar, stir until sugar has dissolved.
2. Add the oranges, lemons, cinnamon and vanilla pod
3. Leave for 2 weeks and then filter through muslin cloth or coffee filter.
4. Pour into sterilized bottles and either keep it to drink yourself or give away with a bottle of fizz for a quick Christmas present.