Curaçao, Triple Sec, Cointreau & Grand Marnier are all different styles of orange liqueur, each with their own secret recipe. Curaçao usually has a rum base, Cointreau uses both sweet & bitter oranges and sugar beet alcohol, and Grand Marnier is made from a mix of Cognac, distilled bitter orange essence, and sugar. At least one style of orange liqueur is typically stocked in a bar because it provides a delicious fruit flavor, complexity and balanced sweetness to cocktails.
As a Craft Distillery in California we are only allowed to serve cocktails with liqueurs that we make in house, which led us to develop our orange liqueur recipe using Shorebreak Vodka. Below is the recipe we used if you want to try and make it at home!
Navel or Valencia Oranges (also known as sweet oranges)
1 bottle of Shorebreak Vodka
Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Peel enough oranges that would fill a 750ml bottle.
Make sure not to peel too deep to avoid including the white pith.
If you decide to fill the 750ml bottle with orange peel, make sure you have another empty bottle to use to store your orange liqueur later. Speaking from experience, taking the orange peel out of your bottle is next to impossible!
Allow the vodka & peel to soak for 5-10 days, and make sure the peel is not exposed to any air. The air exposure will cause the peel to give an off flavor and it will ruin your entire batch.
After 5-10 days, strain the vodka from the orange peel.
The next step depends entirely on your palate and what you are looking for in an orange liqueur. Combine the 1:1 simple syrup with the strained orange vodka until it is sweetened to your liking.
If you end up making this recipe, let us know how it turned out!