Vin dorange 2 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

6.1.11 Home Brew: Vin d'Orange

I love a little tipple before dinner, especially in the summer. It just feels a little indulgent, leisurely. The apéritif was actually a 19th century invention for the purpose of delivering extremely bitter, malaria-fighting quinine. Herbs and spices were added to mask the disagreeable flavor and voilà! A French invention, of course. Although most agree that 18th-century Italians were well versed in the aperitivo. Campari is a perfect example of such a slightly bitter and agreeably complex concoction. I use the word tipple because the apéritif is a light drink, a small amount of alcohol just to awaken the appetite. (For you tee-totallers out there, I am going to do a post on the non-alcoholic versions very soon.) I personally love Lillet, technically called a tonic wine because of the addition of a liqueur of Chinchona bark from Peru which contains quinine.You can create your own version, by steeping citrus fruit in rosé with a few spices. Julia Moskin, in her fantastic online DIY cooking handbook for the New York Times, provides a great recipe, adapted from London chef Sally Clarke. The original version is made with Seville oranges, which I happened to have on hand from making marmalade. Julia adapts it with more readily available citrus. It has a powerful flavor that develops during a 6-week fermentation period. So, if you want to serve yours on July 4th, as I do, you'd better get cracking.
Tagged — spirits