Vin d’orange

The orange wine is a drink made either by infusion of orange peel in a neutral alcohol then mixed to wine, either by fermentation of orange juice and its skin.

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On the route to India, the first settlers discovered that the natives (Indians) used the orange to make wine, a practice already known in Canada where indigenous (the “savages”) did the same with the maple. They cut the bark, and collected the sap that was fermented.

In the eighteenth century, it was considered that “orange wine is perhaps the most pleasant liquor and safer of all wines known and liqueurs.” It was in the 1850s in Martinique that a few owners of orange plantations embarked on this production, if we are to believe the writers of the New Dictionary of Natural History and Arts applied to the drinks, and it became a sort of Malmsey.

It was made from sugar (white) clarified syrup, orange juice, decoction of the peel and a bit of orange blossoms, all fermented for two months. This wine sometimes crossed the seas in Europe.

The authors of the New Dictionary are more accurate and detailed the recipe on multiples of 8. For 40 bottles, it was 40 pounds of sugar clarified with egg whites, in 8 very pure water pots, to make a syrup. The skin of 40 oranges was put to boil.It was then added the sugar syrup and orange juice. Everything was left to ferment, clarified and flavored with a handful of orange blossoms before being bottled. It “was sold in Martinique four pounds ten sols, making three pounds in France.”

But the hazards of navigation did consider that it was more rational to use oranges from Portugal, “the finest & most mature.”The juice, filtered “through the finest of cloth”, was added to water of orange blossoms, some sugar, fermentation is blocked by the addition of “a pint of spirits of wine for each pint of fluid. ”

According to one of its manufacturers, JE Bertrand, this orange wine was fit to age well. He explains: “I am all the more assured of the fact, that I kept from that I began to be sold in the fourth year after manufacture, which is now in its eighteenth year, and whose quality is much higher than it had when I began to sell. ”

Another way to do was to add yeast to orange juice, then let it ferment for 48 hours. Essential oils were recovered by rubbing skins on sugar cubes. The fermentation achieved, was added white wine and let to sit for five to six months. “The result after this time is a most enjoyable wine that does not need to be stuck by his strong and transparent state. We can put it in bottles without loosing nothing of its bouquet. ”

LF Dubief, who noted this method, cites another where the orange wine is made by a simple infusion. The cut skins are boiled, then cooled before being mixed with the juice. The same operation is repeated a second time, and added to two and a half liters of alcohol and 250 grams of sugar per liter. This orange wine was drinkable after a few days.

The current orange wine is made from white or rosé wine, sugar, orange skin macerated in alcohol, with the addition of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg.

8 ripe oranges,
5 liters of rose wine
1 liter of eau-de-vie 40 °,
1 kg of sugar,
1 vanilla pod

Preparation of Orange Wine:
1. Peel the oranges and cut them into quarters.
2. Mix all ingredients in a sealed container.
3. Marinate 45 days in a cool place, stirring occasionally.
4. Strain the mixture and put it in a bottle.