|This year's label|
The vin d'orange, a bitter orange wine I put up last month, is still maturing in big glass jars and will be for another several weeks, but a grapefruit version of essentially the same aperitif, vin de pamplemousse, only took a month to macerate. Yesterday I bottled six liters of the traditional before-dinner drink. The recipe isn't wholly traditional, however. Oh, the grapefruit (pamplemousse in French) is legit. Even the sweet oranges I sliced and threw in to soften the wine a bit wouldn't raise every eyebrow in France. However, I'd gotten my hands on a load of bergamot oranges and included one in the mix, an addition that may cause purists to sniff in disdain. Ah, well. Their loss.
|Racked, clear, and bottled: grapefruit wine|
Even in southern California, bergamots can be hard to track down during their
Vin de Pamplemousse with Bergamot
2 white grapefruit
4 ruby red grapefruit
2 navel oranges
1 2" piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise and cut into thirds
4.5 L crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc (e.g., Trader Joe's coastal)
750ml 80 proof (40% abv) vodka
1.75 cups/350 g sugar
Cut each piece of citrus into an upper and lower half. Slice each half into half-moon shapes, about 1/4"/6mm thick, saving any juice. Combine all the ingredients (including any juice from slicing) into a single two-gallon/8L nonreactive container with a sealable lid such as a jar or carboy.
Stir or shake it, then allow it to rest in a cool, dark place (a closet is fine: no need to refrigerate). Strain after one month into a similar large container. After one day, rack the cleared liquid off the cloudy residue at the bottom of the container. Strain this through cheesecloth or other clean filter, and bottle in clean, sterilized wine bottles. Seal with new corks and label. Let rest a few months in a cool, dark place.
Makes about six liters.
Goes well with:
- That vin d'orange I mentioned. Good stuff.
- Each year, I try to make a batch of creme de noyau using crushed peach pits and a recipe from an old, old Creole cookbook. I don't always get around to it, but when I do make some, here's the recipe I use.
- If light wines aren't your speed, how about fifty oranges and a gallon of corn whiskey?
- Fany Gerson's recipe for pasita, a dark raisin cordial from Mexico.
- Finally, more old recipes: three separate recipes for syrup of violets spanning nearly 250 years.