I started off making Limoncello, then some Arancello and was so happy with the results I decided to get creative. Following the same process, I made this delicious Mandarin Liqueur. I think it is my favourite out of the three.
makes about 1.3 litres
1 litre jar
500ml Polish Spirit*
peel of about 5 clementines/mandarins
350g white sugar
350ml water, plus another cup of water
Wash the mandarins and dry them. You’re using the peel, so want it nice and clean. Peel the mandarins. Trim the white pith off the inside of the peel by slicing along the inside of the skin, so you have nice orange strips of the zest without too much white pith on them. Take your time with this as the pith will make your liqueur bitter.
Put the strips into the jar and pour in the spirit. Store the jar in a dark place and give it a shake every other day. Check after 7 days to see if it’s ready. You will know that it’s ready when the peels have gone hard and crispy and you can snap them in half. It takes 1 – 2 weeks.
Now make up the sugar syrup. Put the 350g sugar and 350ml water into a saucepan and put over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
While the mixture is cooling, put a sieve over a jug (at least 2 litres) and pour in the alcohol, straining out the peel. The peel can be stored in the freezer in a ziploc bag and chopped finely and put into cakes. Pour the sugar syrup in an give it a stir. The mixture should go all lovely and cloudy. Have a little taste and if you find it a bit too strong, add some more water until you’re happy with the flavour. The flavour will mellow over time, so keep this in mind. I added about an extra cup of water to mine.
Bottle it up and put it into the freezer, ready to sip on a warm afternoon in the sun.
*Polish Spirit is a very high alcohol content grain spirit. I made this with an 80% strength spirit. You could make this with vodka, but then it’s not technically ‘fruit-cello’ and you would want to use sugar on its own, rather than sugar syrup, to produce the same strength result.