It’s the only second week of February and I have been drinking my Vin d’Orange all week. It’s completely awesome and addictive. I started sampling the brew after about a week, at which time it tasted startlingly like bubblegum. I’m not kidding. A flavor that I had always assumed was completely artificial had been created in a jar full of wine, fruit, and sugar and botanicals in my own dining room. WTF? I was worried. I hate bubblegum. What to do? I remembered them that one of the other Vin d’Orange recipes on line called for a quarter cup of coffee beans. I grabbed a handful and tossed them in. Within just a few days I had a drink that tasted strongly of coffee, but more the way coffee smells than the way it tastes. It was bitter and a little odd, but good. By the end of January, I felt it was ready to bottle. Because both the sweetness and the coffee flavor were so strong, I decided to cut the finished product with the rest of the BotaBox of Pinot Grigio, and half a bottle of Rosé that I had in Fridge. Filtering the end result through cheesecloth and a coffee filter was time consuming (and used a surprising number of coffee filters) , but worth it. The result is something I am very happy with.
Tonight, as I break into the second (of three) bottles from this original bottling, I realized I had better get started on the next batch. This time I used rosé wine from provence. I used two grapefruits, a lemon, and two clementines and two clementine peels for the fruit. I put coffee beans in from the get go, but only a very few—maybe ten. I also added some angostura bitters, and a small handful of rose peppercorns. I cut back the cinnamon to half a stick and the sugar to one cup. I did not measure the cardamom pods. I’ll let you know how it turns out.