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