Orange Peel Wine

With the exception of the occasional mulled wine, I have not been a fan of altering wine in any way to make some sort of wine cocktail.  I'm not even a huge fan of Kir Royale - Champagne (or Prosecco) is so lovely on its own and why mess with a good thing?

But lately...well...I've been altering wine like crazy.  I have several cookbooks that have recipes for wine-based drinks, and I've been finding myself intrigued.  For instance, one recipe was for a winter-inspired rosé recipe - you add lemon and sage to it (spoiler alert: it did not taste great).  Likewise, I have several different mulled wine recipes.

There is one recipe that stood out, though: Orange Peel Wine.  Which, not surprisingly, is from one of my favorite cookbooks, French Food at Home by Laura Calder.  The coriander gives the wine a bit of bite and the sugar gives it a roundness that you really want out of a white wine in winter.  Calder recommends a Muscadet, and I concur - I use a rather inexpensive bottle that I get from Fresh Direct.  The major thing to remember is that you need to make sure there is no white on the orange peel; believe me, it'll make the wine super bitter and yucky.  Other than that, this is a cinch to make.  Drink it as an apéritif or digestif.

from French Food at Home by Laura Calder

One 750-ml bottle dry white wine
1 medium orange
1/3 cup/65g sugar
8 coriander seeds

Open the wine.  Pour out about half a cup so that the bottle doesn't overflow when you add the other ingredients; of course, enjoy the wine while you finish the recipe.

Shave the zest from the orange with a vegetable peeler.  Remove every trace of the bitter white pith from the back with a sharp knife.  Poke the orange zest into the bottle of wine (if you have any trouble, I found that using the handle of a wooden spoon will get the zest into the bottle).  Funnel in the sugar.  Drop in the coriander seeds.  Recork the bottle Turn it upside down and right side up a few times until the sugar has dissolved.  Refrigerate 1 week, giving the wine a shake once a day.

Strain into a carafe and serve well chilled.

I have three bottles marinating in my fridge right now.  What will I do with all that wine?  Well, I bought carafe type bottles at Fishs Eddy the other day, and I plan on giving out small carafes of this to some friends this holiday season.  More on that soon!

This was a good lesson for me.  Rather than sniffing my nose haughtily about how I don't drink "wine cocktails," I needed to expand my mind a bit and embrace the possibility that wine and coriander, together, might just be delicious.

Eat, drink, and stay open-minded.

Other recipes I've posted from Laura Calder's French Food at Home:
Pear Pork
Bacon and Hazelnut Leeks


marjorie said...

ooh. love the coriander notion, too.

Unknown said...

I'm glad...since you might just have a carafe waiting for you on Saturday... 8-)