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Beverages/Making orange liqueur



I am thinking of making orange liqueur when holidaying in Italy. This is because we get a huge amount of bitter mandarine oranges in May.The trouble is that I can stay only for 2 weeks, and then come back in August for another 2 weeks. My questions are these:- according to online instructions, I have to leave the stuff, after the initial process, for a whole month to "mature" in a sealed bottle(?), before following the 2nd process of removing the peel etc., and then waiting another month or two.If I wait just  another 12 days, will this harm the alcohol? If I, instead, wait until August to do the 2nd process, and then leave the resulting orange liqueur to mature in a sealed bottle until  June or September next year in a coolish kitchen-pantry, will that ruin the liqueur? Thanks.
Lastly, if you were to choose the best  3 orange liqueurs, which would you choose? And what top 3 fruit liqueur brands would you recommend in general?

Thanks again, Geoff.

Hi Geoff

This is not an easy question to answer.  The first stage of making this liqueur is to soak the fruit in the liquor...but how long you do that is really a question of personal taste.  As you leave the fruit longer in the alcohol, it will extract more compounds from the fruit---some of which may be more bitter or harsh.  The best suggest is to keep tasting, bit by bit, and notice the changes.

But since you have no choice, all you can do is try it....and hope that you like the final product.  Do remember that if the final flavor is too rough, you can soften it a bit with more sugar.  Just add that judiciously, testing with a small amount, until you think you have it right!

Hope that helps.

As for the ones I prefer...Triple Sec and Cointreau are always good.  DeKuypers usually make good products, as well.

Paul Wagner


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Paul Wagner


I have spent most of my adult life eating and drinking throughout the world, and can usually remember some of it! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about food and drink on the air.


30 years in the business.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the past 20 years.

Past/Present Clients
Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Company, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Constellation Wines, The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Vinitaly, Napa County Agricultural Commissioner.

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