Seville Orange Gin

Success with the Sloe Vodka set me wondering how other bitter fruit might work. Seville Oranges, maybe?

Quick dash down to Leeds Market today. The veg’n-fruit stall has the very last Seville oranges of the season; and he wants rid. I pick the six I want —- and he gives me the rest of the basket! A bit more than I bargained for.

Tried this – quantities tweaked for 750ml bottles of Morrison’s own-label gin.

For what it’s worth, brief tastes of the rough, un-macerated, un-mellowed drink were quite stunning. The combination of the bitter-depth of the orange with its peppery-spicey overtones, mixed into the aromatics of the gin – a marriage made in heaven.

But it will be at least another three months before we open a bottle and see how the rough, exhilerating foretaste mellows.

Ingredients

  • 4 Seville oranges (or 5 small ones)
  • 750ml bottle of gin
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • 1-2 cloves

Method

  • Peel the zest from the oranges (avoid the pith and its intense bitterness – use the centre of the fruit and the pith to make marmalade). Cut the zest into thin strips.
  • Pop the zest, sugar, and cloves into a bottle or jar, and add half the gin; shake well to dissolve the sugar. Pour in the rest of the gin, and seal.
  • Store in a cool dark place for three months, shaking the bottle/jar every few days.
  • After three months, strain the gin through muslin or a coffee filter.
    • Worth a taste, to check whether you need to add more sugar (as a syrup, made from 3 measures sugar, to 1 measure water, gently heated until the sugar dissolves).
  • Pour into sterilised bottles, and seal.
  • If it turns out anything like the Sloe Vodka, it will be eminently drinkable. However, all the recipes I read suggest leaving the Seville Orange Gin for a year or two to mature and mellow. We’ll see.
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