If you have enjoyed your own homemade Limoncello then why not try this homemade Grand Marnier recipe. Although it probably won’t appease the purists, it does make a very acceptable orange liqueur that I’m sure you will enjoy – and it makes a great gift. It is really easy to make but it does have a long waiting time: 2 months minimum and it gets better with age so give it 6 months if you can bear to wait.
You will need:
8-10 oranges (I used navel oranges from my garden)
1 cup sugar
1 litre brandy (use a reasonably good quality brandy or cognac for the best result)
1 tsp liquid glycerine (optional – gives a more velvety mouthfeel)
A large jar (about 1.5-2 litres) with a tight fitting lid
Peel the zest of the oranges using a vegetable peeler, trying to get as little of the white pith as possible.
Add the orange zest and sugar to your large jar. Pour the brandy over the mixture. Seal jar and shake well.
Put jar in a cool, dark place. Shake the jar weekly. age for 1-3 months. Leave for at least 4 weeks (the longer you leave it the better it will be!).
Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large measuring jug. Clean out the sieve and then line it with cheesecloth. Pour the liqueur back into the aging jar. You may wish to stir in 1tsp liquid glycerine at this point.
Seal the jar again and continue aging for a further 1-3 months. You can always pour some into smaller bottles so that you can compare it along the way (or if you really can’t wait).