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.
(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.)
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.
Keep in freezer, indefinitely.