It’s been over a year (and a million better pictures) since the last Cooking Couple post, which is slightly ironic because all we do is cook with each other. But there is no better comeback then with a drink so strong you might not remember this comeback, am I right, or am I right?!
Limoncello has long been one of my favorite drinks. I would pull the whole ‘its because I’m Italian’ card again, although my grandmother recently informed me that she had no idea what Limoncello was and it wasn’t something from our region of Italy. What a shot to my heart! I mean I even have a Pinterest board for all things Limoncello. Clearly, I’m from the wrong part of Italy (or did someone just forget to tell me I was adopted?!)!
We decided to combine our blood orange love with my limoncello love to make something very unique (and very strong!)- blood orangecello. It’s relatively easy but does require some patience with the peeling of the oranges and the waiting of the fermentation process. But, as promised, here is the recipe (and my apologies for the lack of pictures…the process isn’t the easiest/prettiest thing to photograph!).
Make sure you follow the steps in the order they go as this can take several days:
Step 1: Peel 7-8 medium-sized blood oranges.
Tip: Use a peeler to complete this process. Peeling like a regular orange will contain the pith and will give the “cello” a very bitter flavor. Do not zest as you will not get the most effective measure of the blood orange aroma and flavor.
Once the blood oranges are peeled, place in a large pitcher (enough to easily hold 750mL and 3 1/2 cups of liquid) and pour in 750mL of vodka (the cheaper the vodka the better). Leave the peels soaking in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.
Step 2: Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a simmer and add in 2 1/2 cups of sugar and stir for about 5-7 minutes. You will notice the liquid will start to thicken and will take on a syrupy consistency. Once the simple syrup is complete, take off the heat and let sit until around room temperature.
Step 3: Once at room temperature, combine simple syrup with the blood orange infused vodka (leave the peels in the pitcher) and stir for about a minute. Let mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 4: Once the mixture has sat for about 5-10 minutes, distill the mixture into your storage bottles using a fine strainer (this will prevent the orange peels and any residue from staying in the mixture while bottling).
Tip: If you have any leftover blood oranges you may try to squeeze from fresh juice into the mixture to add some extra flavor or sweetener.
Step 5: Once bottled store in your refrigerator until chilled or up to 4 weeks, then serve.
Tip: Save the peels….they are perfect for candying/decorating a cocktail glass!