Vin d'Orange

23 February 2007

Since I started living in the UK, I always look forward to January, when you can get these bitter oranges from Seville. The short season is now sadly over, but I enjoyed trying some new things this year.

This ultra tangy sorbet is definitely still my favourite, but flipping through my favourite (and most-trusted) magazine, Food Illustrated (Jan issue), I was intrigued by this irresistible sounding recipe for orange wine. It’s a traditional aperitif in the South of France and although I used rosé as the base, the recipes seem quite versatile in terms of which type of wine/what liqueurs, spices to use.

It’s been just over a month since I made this, and I’m supposed to age it a couple more weeks but couldn’t resist sipping a bit – the colour has started changing to a more red-orangey hue and just like I imagined, the slightly sweet but refreshing taste really appealed to me :) The ratio of wine and spirits/liqueurs is flexible so play around to find your favourite taste. You can try it with normal sweeter oranges too, but you’ll need to adjust the sweetness/tartness adding more lemon/lime (or less sugar).

I’ve only tried with one bottle of rosé and am already looking forward to making more batches next year – it’ll be such a lovely gift and I’m sure my friends would enjoy this wintery treat as much as I do :)

Here are a couple of sweets I tried with Seville oranges too. I’m not normally a big fan of chocolate & fruit combination – but as Valentine’s day approached, and knowing Matthew loves Jaffa Cakes, it seemed to be as a good time as any to try them.

Firstly I made Orangettes as I had learnt it’d take a couple of days to dry the candied fruit. M is happy anytime when he munches these orange ‘twigs’ but I’ve actually never made them before. Most of the recipes for candied citrus peel call for using plain sugar syrup, but the one in Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé sounded more appealing. Cracked black peppercorns, as well as star anise and vanilla bean definitely add more flavour to the fruit. I was a bit worried whether the bitterness of the oranges would work for this – it was bitter, but in an addictive way :) I think this is one of the things that you should make at home (like ice-cream) – it tastes as good as (if not better than) any posh shop-bought ones, very simple to make, and costs very little. I’ve been using this candied orange for marinating meat etc, just like marmalade – and it works really well for this too.

The other dessert was Chocolate jaffa mousse cake with orange caramel from the recipe in Christine Manfield’s Desserts. After roughly reading the recipe I hoped it wouldn’t be too orangey as every component has orange in it! The chocolate fudge cake is baked on a bain-marie – this super moist cake was delicious on its own. For the chocolate jaffa mousse, make the orange infused custard then stir in the chocolate and gelatine. I liked the texture, it’s much lighter than I imagined and the citrus flavour was just right with the addition of the orange caramel sauce :)

I used Manjari for both of the desserts (tempered for the orangettes). Béa posted a recipe for her beautiful orangettes and mendiants a while ago, also, although I’m not a fan of marmalade, I was so tempted after I read Fanny’s gorgeous post – how lovely having those beautiful orange trees in your back garden!

I managed to squeeze the last oranges to make Seville orange cordial – I was lucky to find the recipe before the season was over from my latest purchase Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf – I’m looking forward to joining their workshop at Petersham Nurseries next month. They are serving a lunch inspired by Greg and prepared by Skye Gyngell also, I’ll make sure to let you know how it goes :)

Vin d’Orange

750ml bottle of fruity rosé wine (I used Muga Rioja 2005)
90ml vodka
50ml dark rum
1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
200g caster sugar
3 Seville (bitter) oranges, sliced
1/2 unwaxed lemon, sliced

Place the wine, vodka and rum in a bowl, stir in the vanilla beans (as well as the pod) and sugar, and the orange and lemon slices. Refrigerate for 6-8 weeks in an air-tight container, then strain (through muslin) into sterilised bottles. Serve chilled.

Food - Sweet        42 comments    Permalink

  • It all sounds so fantastically indulgent. Do you know if bitter oranges ever make it to the States? I’d love to try them!

    Posted by Max | 23 February 2007 #
  • I love all the ways you’ve used these oranges!

    Posted by Kat | 24 February 2007 #
  • orange wine sounds lovely, certainly hope Seville oranges are available here.

    I bought Saha by Greg & Lucy Malouf as well in 2005 when I was in Sydney. I love the Part travelogue, part food recipes book, sure hope to travel just like him one day, though I’m not a chef ha! Photography by Matt Harvey is great too, I love the way he catches expressions of people.

    Posted by slurp! | 24 February 2007 #
  • Hello Nordljus,
    Your Vin d’ Orange looks like an absolute party pleaser …now i cant wait to have eveyone over to try this.Love the contrast of the ebony and venge wood counters u have used.
    I bet u have a beautiful home.Coz u have a gr8 taste in cutlery n crockery along with a beautiful eye thats pictures all these beautiful shots.Always a big fan of your work.

    Posted by Kate | 24 February 2007 #
  • I love this post! As I love oranges and all citrus fruit, it’s amazing how versitile they are.

    Posted by Ales | 24 February 2007 #
  • OH



    I think that’s all I can say at this moment, sorry.

    I want to eat those right now :)

    Posted by matt | 24 February 2007 #
  • your vin d’orange looks very appetizing, keiko. i love rosé too and would like to try this recipe at some point. thank you for sharing the recipe!

    Posted by eliza | 24 February 2007 #
  • Keiko, I’m not sure where to start. The vin d’orange looks wonderful. I have to say, I’m tempted to try making it with blood oranges, though the season is quickly running out. Chocolate jaffa mousse cake sounds unbelievably good. I love jaffa cakes. I remember always pestering my grandparents to pick some up at Marks & Spencer when I was a kid. Sadly, they are no more in Canada, but I think you’ve shown me how to reintroduce them to my kitchen anyway. Thanks.

    Posted by rob | 25 February 2007 #
  • dear keiko, how beautiful everything looks! i am a huge fan of ph’s candied orange peel technique/recipe – yours looks so fabulous, much more so than most posh shop-bought ones :) and of course, i just have to say how thrilling it is to see those aj babies being used ;)

    Posted by Joycelyn | 25 February 2007 #
  • I am very pleased because loved orange and chocolate appear. Are these photographs taken in the studio?Because the lighting is really beautiful.

    Posted by y_and_r_d | 25 February 2007 #
  • While trying to snatch one of those delicious orange-chocolate thingies I smeared up my monitor ;-). Though I have no idea where to get bitter oranges in Leipzig, mmh. I guess I will use regular ones with less sugar just as you described.

    Posted by die eule | 26 February 2007 #
  • Sounds oh-so-sophisticated and elegant! Your photos are gorgeous as usual! :)

    Posted by joey | 26 February 2007 #
  • Dear Keiko, it was so lovely to meet you at the Sophie Conran Pie evening at Blueprint Cafe, I love your site and your photos are fabulous – I am in awe!

    Posted by J | 26 February 2007 #
  • Where did you get that wine glass in the first picture there? Looks fantastic! Oh, the oranges look good too.

    Posted by Anthony | 27 February 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko, I have only just discoverd your beautiful site, and am overawed by your talent!
    You have a real eye for perfectly crafted food (you should open a restaurant!) and deliver this wonderfully through your photo’s.
    Vin D’Orange, sounds superb,I will definately be trying to re-create!
    You inspire me. Thank-you.

    Posted by videodrome | 27 February 2007 #
  • Keiko, this wine is sweet-smelling and your photos are fantastic, really.

    Posted by Francesca | 27 February 2007 #
  • I love how beautifully the orange color stands out in your shots. So warm on a wintry day!

    Posted by Anita | 27 February 2007 #
  • Your citrusy preparations are so lovely! And to use Manjari simply divine.

    Posted by veron | 27 February 2007 #
  • I think the vin d’orange would be very nice with a chocolate dessert.

    Posted by Barbara | 27 February 2007 #
  • Hi,

    I’ve just read about a new competition: the BRIT BLOG AWARDS. Keiko certainly gets my vote. If you agree go to and follow the instructions

    Posted by Sarah | 1 March 2007 #
  • You don’t post often, but when you do it’s always something special!

    Posted by Scott at Real Epicurean | 1 March 2007 #
  • it sounds delicious and your pictures are gorgeous as usual.

    Posted by Christell | 1 March 2007 #
  • this is lovely Keiko. I looked at this book at Books for Cooks when I was there last but went with Crazy Water Pickled Lemons instead. I look forward to your report though.

    Something about the sweet bitter edges of both orange and chocolate— they can be a strong marriage.

    Posted by shuna fish lydon | 2 March 2007 #
  • Lovely post Keiko. I can smell the oranges from here.The photo with the sliced oranges and vanilla pods in wine is out of this world.

    Posted by Cenk | 2 March 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    I came from elise’s blog that you comment for her.
    All pics are beautiful and I want to try my pics like yours.
    Also orangettes and chocolate looks good.
    Yes, they are great match and I love them too!

    Posted by Chico | 3 March 2007 #
  • Great, again and again, one can nearly smeall and taste the flavors only by seeing and reading.

    Posted by Clifford | 4 March 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko! Oranges are so versitile – as you’ve beautifully demonstrated! Your orange wine sounds like a delightful evening accompaniment!

    Posted by gilly | 6 March 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    What gorgeous photos. It’s been awhile since I’ve checked up on your site, and what a nice surprise! I love the glassware, as well, especially the wine glass in the top photo… I love cordials, too. How curious to make your own! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Posted by Mindy | 8 March 2007 #
  • so orangey!
    I love it! They make me drool:)
    I love your posts.

    Posted by Iris | 10 March 2007 #
  • Hi, Keiko! I´m a big big fan of your blog. And your photos… oh, My God!
    Congratulations from Brazil!

    Posted by Luciana | 13 March 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    I just wanted to let you know that I tried your Seville orange sorbet with some bitter oranges I had left over after a marathon marmalade-making session last month. My goodness, it was fantastic! The cinnamon gives the sorbet such a delicate quality — difficult to achieve with so tart a sorbet. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I’ll certainly make it again next spring when I’m able to track down more Seville oranges, and perhaps try the vin d’orange as well.

    Also, for the other readers asking where to find bitter oranges in the States, they’re available from I got 10lbs for $30 — the smallest amount they would ship — and I found them to be very high quality.

    Thanks again for your lovely posts. It’s so generous of you to share your experience with us!

    Posted by Maya | 14 March 2007 #
  • Your pictures are so beautiful…

    Posted by Tearsa | 15 March 2007 #
  • wow, now it’s my mission to find bitter orange in Singapore! Or maybe I could bribe my friends in London into smuggling me some next year =oP

    Posted by lynn | 17 March 2007 #
  • very interesting. adore your photography!

    Posted by Linda, The Village Vegetable | 17 March 2007 #
  • I just love orange-flavoured food, and what a fantastic selection you mention here! I have a blood orange liqueuer in my liquor cabinet that I brought back from Munich last year that is one of my all-time favourites, and has a gorgeous colour – rather like your orange vin I suspect! I also like the idea of a spicier candied peel – how can anything not be improved by cardamom?!

    Posted by Jeanne | 20 March 2007 #
  • Hi all, sincere apologies for taking so long to get back to you, thank you so much for your kind notes.

    Anthony – I think I got them at Habitat, although I’m sure you can find at many other places, it’s Duralex.

    Posted by keiko | 22 January 2008 #
  • This is the second year I’ve come back for the truely fantastic orange wine recipe.

    I am growing Seville oranges in my garden – unfortunately I have always far too many to turn into marmelade, orange curd etc.

    I am living in Perth, Western Australia and I found that Seville oranges are hard to come by – so if you like to get some, just leave me a note or e-mail. :)

    Posted by Helmi | 30 July 2008 #
  • Hi Helmi – thank you so much for your kind note and I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you. I’m so envious that you can get these gorgeous oranges in your garden! We can only get them here in the UK in Dec/Jan – I think I must pay you a visit in Perth one day, thanks again for your kind thought!

    Posted by keiko | 28 October 2008 #
  • Haha…i love orange. These photos are delightful again. i was surprised because i came across a dessert what i tried also.
    Well your appoach to present it is wonderful, mine are not so professional, but here it is:)

    Posted by Andrea B. Veress | 17 July 2009 #
  • Fabulous Keiko! So many lovely orange and orange and chocolate recipes. This is the time of year where I make my favorite orange cake and stock up on everything citrus as much as possible. I used to love chocolate and oranges separately but not together but came to love the marriage as an adult. And the orange wine I’ve had before was really lovely so I’m sure yours must be a delight. Gorgeous pictures as always.

    Posted by Hilda | 1 February 2010 #
  • Gorgeous post and recipes! Love your blog and eye on food!! Thanks for sharing with us :)

    Posted by Alelunetta | 1 February 2010 #
  • Oh, I’m such a newbie in food area! I’ve never heard of bitter oranges from Seville. I have to buy them next year. I’ve discovered so much since I moved to the UK and started my blog. And I so much love trying new food and drinks! ;) This orange wine looks very intriguing! Thank you for sharing the recipe. Your photos are gorgeous!

    Posted by Sarka | 7 February 2010 #

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