Crema di Orangecello

The orangecello has been brewing, so to speak, at the top of the basement stairs for a while now… maybe 3 months?? Who knows. Certainly longer than required, but we just haven’t gotten around to the second half of the process.

I made very minor changes to the limecello recipe from last year, which I thought was just too sweet. Well, there aren’t many ingredients to adjust in the recipe, so I’ve left the amount of milk about the same and reduced the sugar. I also added a bit of vanilla extract. One final change–a 1 L bottle of Everclear is an upgrade from 750 mL. Might as well make a bigger batch, right??

1 L Everclear
Zest of 6-8 oranges
11 cups whole milk
5.5 cups sugar
Dash vanilla extract

Place the orange zest in the Everclear bottle, pouring off just a small amount of Everclear to make room for the zest. Cap and store for 1 week or 3 months or however much time you have.

Orange Extract

(Incidentally, while playing poker one night we decided to try this undiluted orange extract. I would not recommend you try it at this stage… Not yet delicious.)

Milk and Sugar

Prepare your bottles. (This recipe makes just under 4 L, which for me filled almost eight 500 mL bottles.) Heat the milk in a Dutch oven or similar until warm, then add the sugar and stir to dissolve. That’s an impressive amount of sugar, by the way. Let cool for a bit***, then add vanilla extract if using. Finally, add the Everclear extract, filtering through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Mix well, then bottle. I let the bottles cool to room temp before capping.

***Update 8/10/2015. After making this recipe for the third or fourth time, I too had a “grainy” appearance to my Orangecello, also noted by a commented. My current thoughts are that the heated milk/sugar mixture needs to be brought back down to room temperature prior to adding the Everclear citrus extract, with the reasoning being that the acidic nature of the citrus can cause the milk to very slightly curdle at elevated temperatures.

Crema di Orangecello

Keep in freezer, indefinitely.

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12 Responses to Crema di Orangecello

  1. Marlene says:

    We tried your recipe and are now wondering how long will it keep in the refrigerator

    • Dave Nirschl says:

      Hi Marlene, I think I left a reply to the blog post rather than a reply to your question. Either way, I wanted to make sure you see it.


  2. Dave Nirschl says:

    Hi Marlene, that’s a good question. I haven’t tried storing it in the refrigerator! The high alcohol content from the Everclear will hinder most bacteria from souring the orangecello… for example, lactobacillus bacteria can’t tolerate more than about 8% alcohol. You might get some slow oxidation of the some of the fats in the milk (try storing it in amber bottles if possible, and keep a tight cap on the bottle). If I had to venture a guess, I’d say 2-3 months.

    Let me know how you like the orangecello!


    • Marlene says:

      Hi Dave, thanks for the info on keeping the “libation” in the frig vs freez. Not having much luck finding amber colored bottles though! I made it with Everclear and “HOLYCOW”!!! Not sure if they FAA would allow me to fly after drinking the stuff…..;-o! Going to try it with some less combustable alcohol next time! It is VERY good however! My family and friends really enjoy it as well…..

      • Dave Nirschl says:

        Ok Great! Most homebrew shops should carry the swing-top (aka “EZ Cap” bottles) in amber. But as you can tell from my picture, I use the clear bottles for the orangecello.

  3. chaz says:

    Any Feed Back On This? Variations, Suggestions etc?

  4. Dennis says:

    The finish product will have a ABV of 20.69% seems a little low. Assuming 190 proof Everclear your looking at 114 calories per shot.

    • Dave Nirschl says:

      Wikipedia says “An ethanol content of 28-32% is considered optimal for Limoncello.” Perhaps it would be worth revisiting the amount of milk used in this recipe to fall within that target.

  5. ala says:

    Why does my chello look a little grainy

    • Dave Nirschl says:

      There aren’t many ingredients so I can’t imagine too many possibilities. Sugar not fully dissolved or incomplete filtration of the zest both come to mind.

  6. Connie says:

    I just had this for the first time and it was wonderful.
    They put theirs in freezer and it last a couple of months however
    They said they put in a pint of whipped cream and half and half
    Instead of milk. Does anyone have that recipe??

    • Dave Nirschl says:

      Hi Connie:
      Actually it seems like using cream or half and half would be a great way to go. There are some comments to the post regarding having an alcohol content closer to 30% rather than this recipe’s 21%… using cream rather than milk would allow you to have the same fat content while diluting the alcohol by a smaller amount.

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