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Apr 21, 2008 07:36 PM

Vin D'Orange / Vins Maison

I purchased this very interesting book over the weekend, "Aperitif", by Georgeanne Brennan. Within the book they offer two recipes for vin d'orange, one traditional version using a French-style rose or dry white wine, and a "poor man's version" using a dry red wine, with Burgundy, Zinfandel, and Merlot among others offered as suggestions.

I'm interested in making this for a late-summer party, as it seems it needs some three months to complete. I'm thinking the traditional recipe is the way to go - does anyone have experience making this and if so, which wine would you suggest using? Also, any alternatives to using Seville oranges?

Thanks a lot!

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  1. I have another book by Georgeanne Brennan called The Glass Pantry, which has a recipe for vin d'orange using dry red wine (she specifically recommends using zinfadel). I don't know if the recipes in your book are similar, but this one involves fortifying the wine with some vodka and sugar, and infusing with the orange peels, with are first dried, then roasted. This recipe didn't specify Seville oranges; I used organic navels. The result was delicious, a lovely chilled aperitif.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      It sounds like we're talking about the same recipe. I'm glad to hear it worked out well with organic navels - I was concerned they would not provide the bitterness needed. My go-to in the summer is Campari and soda, so I'm anxious to try something new.

      1. re: azhotdish

        Just to clarify, my vin d'orange did not have a bitter flavor - if you're looking for a bitter edge, I think you had better go with a bitter orange. And a white would be ideal for a summer aperitif, definitely lighter than with the red wine.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Thank you, I am definitely going to go with a white wine for summer; I have no clue what oranges I'll have access to, so I may have to do some searching for something bitter (actually I'll probably go half bitter/sweet as to not exclude too many potential imbibers).

      2. re: Caitlin McGrath

        This recipe sounds terrific. Would you be willing to share it?

        1. re: TMPM75

          Brennan says, "This is a California version of a French farmhouse recipe for a flavored, fortified wine. peels from eaten oranges are saved and dried, then toasted in the oven, from where they fill the house with an intense aroma of orange oils. Alcohol, in this case vodka, and sugar are added, along with orange peels, to a dry, robust red wine such as a California zinfandel."

          Vin d'Orange

          (paraphrased from The Glass Pantry by Georgeanne Brennan per Chowhound guidelines)

          Dried peels of 6 small or 4 large oranges
          1 fifth (750 ml bottle) dry red wine such as zinfandel
          3/4 cup granulated sugar
          1/2 cup vodka

          Preheat oven to 300F. Toast the peels on a large baking sheet, turning occasionally, until the inner white portion of the peel is golden and the outer peel is dark orange, about 45 min. Put wine, sugar, vodka, and roasted peels in a dry, sterilized wide-mouth jar and cap. Store in a cool, dark place, turning upside down a couple of times a day for a week until the sugar is dissolved. Leave for at least 1 month, but preferably 2 or 3, then strain and decant into sterilized bottles. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            i've made a couple of recipes from brennan's book--vin de peche (amazing--peach leaves... who knew?) and vin marquis.

            if you're looking for something with a bit of an edge, google 'vin de pamplemousse' from chez panisse (or, if you've got the book, look under 'grapefruit' in the fruit cookbook). i make the vin de pamplemousse in 10 liter batches. very good--if you like vodka and grapefruit, you'll LOVE this. it can be drunk more or less immediately after it's macerated (i leave it around 40 days), tho you're sposed to let it rest for a couple months.

            fwiw, i ALWAYS use boxed wines in the recipes--my fav right now is bota box. but you're looking for a wine WITHOUT a lot of character. in france, you'd use the stuff from the barrel, poured directly into your soda bottle at 6 francs a liter (well, i guess that dates me.)

            if your read french, try this site: