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Curacao or Triple-sec

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  • waljaco@hotmail.com
    The Dutch not only made gin using juniper berries but also in the 17th century their firms started using bitter orange (Seville orange) peels from the island
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2001
      The Dutch not only made gin using juniper berries but also in the
      17th century their firms started using bitter orange (Seville orange)
      peels from the island Curacao in the West Indies. The peel of bitter
      oranges (with blossoms and leaves) were macerated in alcohol and
      redistilled to release their essential oils. This was then blended
      with neutral spirit or brandy and sugar added.
      The French emulated this and use the term triple-sec for their
      orange based liqueurs. Although it means triple-dry, most are very
      sweet. Cointreau uses bitter and sweet orange peels. Grand Marnier
      uses only bitter orange peels but this is blended with cognac and
      sugar and then aged. Many of these triple-secs have their inevitable
      secret ingredients.
      I have searched the internet for curacao/triple-sec recipes.
      "The Houehold Cyclopedia" (1881) suggests redistilling 60g of fresh
      peel in a litre of proof alcohol and 400ml water (see orange cordial
      recipe p.18).
      A French site suggests redistilling 165g of peel (doesn't say whether
      fresh or dry) in a litre of proof alcohol and 250ml of water. Also
      here is a scaled down version of their Curacao recipe:
      1litre of orange distillate (1/3 of which is a bitter orange
      distillate)
      1.5litres water
      1.4kg white sugar
      350ml proof spirit (for blending)

      I suppose you could use a pure essential orange oil which is usually
      used in the proportion of 7 drops (1/2 tsp) per litre of alcohol. The
      orange oil could be also used to adjust your own orange distillate.

      You could introduce more complexity by making an orange wine (or
      mash) and then distilling with added peels. A recipe for 1 gallon
      U.S. (4l):
      2lbs (2kg) of over-ripe orange pulp (without peel and pith)
      21/4lbs sugar (1kg)
      1tsp nutrient
      yeast
      water to make 1gal (4l)

      If you can get orange juice without preservatives you could use 1/2
      juice and 1/2 water for 1kg of sugar instead of whole oranges.

      An orange liqueur recipe can also be made by solely macerating the
      peel in the manner of Limoncello (6lemons/3cups vodka,sugar, added
      water to dilute to 30%abv).
      To make 1 litre (1qt) Orange Liqueur:
      3 large oranges
      3 cups of vodka
      11/3 cups of fine white sugar
      Pare the rind (no white pith)
      Put peel in a large 4 cup screw-top jar and add 2 cups of vodka,
      close and steep for a week until the spirit has absorbed the flavor
      Remove peel and add remaining vodka and sugar.

      Wal
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