Citizens, vin d’orange is a delicious Provençal aperitif that will become a wonderful new drink to serve before dinner to your honored guests!
Vin d’orange is traditionally made from bitter oranges and dry white or French-style rosé wine. Bitter oranges can be hard to locate, so this version calls for more readily available navel oranges plus grapefruit.
Vin d’orange is a cinch to prepare with relatively few ingredients! Infused with winter citrus fruits, vin d’orange reaches its prime in spring or summer — and that’s when you’ll thank yourself for having such foresight. (It’s also when you’ll lament that you didn’t put up more!)
The result is a wine that’s pleasantly bittersweet—delicious on its own over ice, or mixed with a little sparkling water. My version uses Grand Marnier for extra orange flavor (most recipes just use brandy) and an eccentric but delicious hint of that other glory of Provençe, rosemary!
2 large organic navel oranges (preferably Cara Cara)
1 small organic grapefruit (preferably white)
½ vanilla bean, split
½ cup (100 g) sugar
½ cup (120 ml) vodka
½ cup (60 ml) Grand Marnier
1 bottle (750 ml, or 3¼ cups) dry rosé wine
1 sprig organic Rosemary
Rinse and dry the oranges and grapefruit. Trim and discard the stem ends. Cut each orange into ¼ -inch-thick (6 mm) rounds. Cut the grapefruit in half and then cut each half into ¼ -inch-thick (6 mm) half-circles.
Combine the oranges, grapefruit, vanilla, and sugar in a sterilized quart (1 L) jar. Pour the vodka, Grand Marnier, and wine into the jar and push the fruit down with a wooden spoon to submerge it as much as possible (it will insist on floating up).
Add the Rosemary sprig and cover the jar tightly.
Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 1 month, shaking it daily to moisten the floating pieces of fruit with the alcohol mixture.
Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the solids. Bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Age for at least 1 month before drinking: the Vin d’Orange will continue to improve with age.