Recipes from Italy: Arancello
A spin on the classic limoncello is arancello, which uses Sicilian blood oranges instead of lemons from Positano for a lovely liquor with a bold bright flavor. It's an easy recipe (orange rinds, grain alcohol, sugar & water), and a perfect introduction to making homemade liqueurs! I have become a pro at infusing liqueurs from limoncello to nocino (walnut & vanilla), visciolino (wild cherry), prugnolino (wild plum/sloe) & now arancello.
Arancello (Sicilian Blood Orange Liqueur)
1/2 liter of pure grain alcohol (you can also use grappa, vodka, or everclear)
the peel of 5 organic Sicilian blood oranges (careful not to skin the orange too deep - you don't want the white pith)
1/2 kilo of sugar
1 liter of water
In a large jar with a lid, soak the orange rind in the alcohol and leave in a cool dark place for about 14 days.
After it has soaked for 14 days or so, filter the rinds from the alcohol. Boil the water & sugar, making a simple syrup, stirring to dissolve all the sugar in the water. Then add the orange-flavored alcohol. Bottle.
I make about 10 liters of this liqueur, so I place 1 bottle in the freezer ready to serve, and the rest in a cool dark place. Arancello, like limoncello, will last a year or more in proper storage.
If the alcohol flavor is too strong, it is also nice to serve it with a drop of heavy cream or dollop of whipped cream atop - then it is referred to as Crema di Arancello.
Bottle, freeze, and serve for a refreshing digestivo (after dinner drink) any time of year.
Ashley Bartner is the Living in Italy Editor for Wandering Educators. You can find her recipes and photos at: