We have had a glut of limes in our kitchen for a couple of weeks, and I've been scratching my head for what to do with them. Something that neither requires the effort of juicing nor zesting, then Mehrunnisa Yusuf mentioned Vin D'Orange on twitter. The result - although not quite vin d'orange - was a simple and stunning aperitif, ready to drink in just 24-48 hours. Let's call it a "Vin de Fruits" recipe.
Traditional provençale Vin D'Orange - confusingly - isn't a wine made from fermenting oranges, but instead is a classic rose wine mixed with oranges, sugar, vodka and vanilla pods. Homemade vin d'orange is extremely similar to commercially available Lillet Blanc, a white wine fortified with citrus liqueur, served as an aperitif over rocks in France, and famously an ingredient in the James Bond vesper martini. The classic recipe with oranges is best made earlier in the year, when seville or French bigarade (bitter) oranges are available - and then saved for drinking until early summer. After mixing, the fortified wine and fruit mixture is usually left to mature for anything from 2 to 10 weeks, and then sieved through muslin. After this it can continue to mature in the bottle, or - for the more adventurous - in oak.
For a midsummer take, the vin de fruits uses strawberries, rose buds and rum, and - due to the delicate strawberries - is served in the week after mixing. You could use almost any mix of fruit, or alcohol. In terms of wine:spirit ratio, aperitifs are usually 18-22% alcohol by volume, which helps calculate how much rum to use.
We only mixed the vin on Saturday, but just 24 hours later on Sunday it would have been a delicious and beautiful Summery aperitif ladled straight from the jar. We've set aside a second jar to see how it matures... but it really is lovely as is! On the downside, there are still twenty limes remaining. Any other ideas?
Ingredients Serves: 8
- Add all the ingredients to the Le Parfait jar, and shake well. Refrigerate and leave for 24-48 hours, shaking or stirring a couple of times a day. The fruit flavours become more pronounced the longer it is left.
- To serve, dilute with a little sparkling water if preferred, and serve garnished with mint.
After a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant Nicola became obsessed with seeking the best flavours from around the world. She started Sous Chef in 2012, and is always sharing her knowledge of ingredients and writing recipes to showcase those products. Learning from the products, Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola has written the majority of the recipes on the Sous Chef website, all of which are big on flavour.