Orange liqueur, or "44," is one of the most traditional European homemade aperitifs. You'll find versions in Spain, Italy and France - some made with cloves and cinnamon; some with a mix of oranges, bitter oranges and lemons; some flavored with coffee beans; and those sweetened with honey. The original recipe given to me called for a single orange studded with 44 coffee beans, mixed with 44 sugar cubes and a bottle of clear eau de vie. The mixture is then set aside for 44 days. The result is a fragrant, fruity drink that can be mixed with a bit of white wine as an aperitif or served "as is" with dessert or as an after-meal liqueur. I found the original version too sweet for my taste, so have cut the amount of sugar in half.
1 large orange
44 coffee beans
22 sugar cubes (or 6 tablespoons granulated sugar)
1 quart clear eau de vie or vodka
Yield: 1 quart
In Provence, many cooks prepare their orange liqueur by piercing the orange with cloves, tying the fruit with string, then suspending it in a clear glass jar partially filled with clear eau de vie. (The orange should never touch the alcohol.) The jar is sealed, and the aromatic oils of the orange infuse the alcohol with their fruity essence, turning the eau de vie a pale, glistening orange. After about one month, the orange is discarded, and the aperitif is sweetened to taste and transferred to a sealed bottle.
Posted by LladyRusty at Recipe Goldmine 11/8/2001, 6:07 pm.
Source: Patricia Wells at Home in Provence - oregonlive.com