Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Orange Wine/Le vin d'orange

For a long time I have had a recipe for a fortified Orange wine which was published in the Aromatic gifts book by Stephanie Donaldson and a smashing book it is too.  This first recipe uses red wine and sounds all very scrummy to me and was first introduced to her by a French Au Pair who had been living with them.  It is traditionally opened on Christmas Eve (reveillon).  Ideally should be made at least two months before Christmas but once made will keep for three or four years.  Might be one to make and put up as Christmas presents.

The second recipe I found in January's edition of Country Living but this uses white wine.  The methods and ingredients for both recipes use the same ingredients and have different curing times and just a slightly different process between the recipes in producing this home made liqueur.

Here are both recipes for you to decide to make one or the other or both.  I thought I would make a couple of batches of each version in January after the Christmas rush in readiness for next Christmas - I know its early but it will be easier on the pocket making up a couple of batches through the year when you have the pennies to hand.


Orange Wine


5 oranges washed and quartered
1 sliced lemon
1 vanilla pod
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 bottles (1.5 litres of Red Cotes du Rhone
Granulated sugar
300ml / 1/2 pint pure eau de vie or marc  (or vodka)
Glass Jar or demijohn with cork or similar glass container (2.25 litres/4 pint capacity)
bottles, corks, labels etc.
Makes approximately 4 bottles


Place the oranges, sliced lemon, vanilla pod and nutmeg in the glass container.  Pour on the wine and cork tightly and leave for 40 days.  Filter the wine through the muslin and measure.  For ever 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) add 100g (4oz) sugar.  Return to the glass jar, add the eau de vie/marc and seal tightly and leave for at least one month.  Bottle and label.


Le Vin d'orange

This recipe traditionally uses Seville Oranges but if you cannot locate Seville Oranges substitute the juice of sweet oranges but add the juice of one lemon.


3 Seville Oranges
750ml dry white wine
200g granulated sugar
150ml vodka
1 vanilla pod


Blanch the oranges in boiling water for 3 minutes to kill off the natural yeasts on the surface of the orange that might cause fermentation.  Drain.

Halve and squeeze the oranges.  Place the juice and the shells into a large bowl or sealable jar with the other ingredients.  Cover and infuse for at least one month.  Strain through muslin into sterilised bottles and seal.  Once opened it keeps up to a year in a cool dark place.


There is also a third recipe which can be found at

There is not much between the recipes and I have decided that this is one of the recipes (amongst others that is going into the to do list for January). It would seem that you can use Red, Rose or White wine.

Catch you soon




  1. I like the sound of this . My blackberry brandy has a good viscous quality about it this year . I used Brandyfrom Aldi

  2. Hi Cottonreel I too am going to make some of this in January when the Seville Oranges first come out in readiness for next Christmas . I have Blackberry and Apple to open this year. I get the spirit wherever it is cheapest.

    Take care




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