blood orange-cello

blood orange-cello

I like to use organic blood oranges for this recipe – no worries about pesticides on the zest, and terrific flavor!


  • 6 organic blood oranges
  • One 750-ml bottle of grain alcohol (Everclear)

for regular orange-cello:

  • 4 cups water (or mixture of fruit juice and water to total 4 cups)
  • 3 cups sugar

for creamy orange-cello:

  • 8 cups whole milk (or mixture of fruit juice and milk to total 8 cups)
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

step one:

Wash and dry the oranges. Using a potato peeler, peel just the orange part of the skin off the oranges. Larger pieces of peel are easier to deal with later in the process. Put the orange peels into a gallon jar; pour the bottle of Everclear over and stir gently. Cover tightly and put away in a cool (not cold) dark place for alcohol to extract oils from peels, creating an infusion. At this point, I like to juice the oranges, and freeze the juice to use later in the process, as a portion of the liquid in the syrup. 

step two:

On day 3, or later, scoop out one of the larger peels and test flexibility. If peel breaks like a potato chip, you will move on to the next step. If peel is still flexible enough to bend without breaking, return to cool dark place and try again in another day or two.

step three:

  • Dissolve sugar in water or milk (and fruit juice if using) and bring to boil over high heat.
  • Set syrup aside to cool. The syrup must be at room temperature before adding to the alcohol infusion.
  • Using a very fine sieve, strain out the orange peels from the alcohol mixture.
  • Return filtered infusion to jar and add COOLED syrup.
  • Pour into small bottles with tightly fitting lids, taking care to leave a fair amount o ahead-space to allow for freezing. Return the bottles to cool dry place for a week to begin mellowing process that combines alcohol infusion with syrup to create blood orange-cello. Then, store your -cello in the freezer. 

step four:

Serve straight from the freezer, in small glasses. Enjoy!

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