Friday, April 9, 2010

Liquors- Part V- Grand Marnier

Ah, the 5th installment of my feature on liquors. And about now you’re probably all thinking “what kind of alcoholic IS this crazy person?” I’ve been fearing this day. In case you didn't read Part I of this series, perhaps I should explain- I really don't drink much. It's now April and I've not had a drink since before New Years- before Christmas in fact. DH isn't much of a drinker either, and when he drinks, it's more than likely a beer or Smirnoff Ice, not the hard stuff. But after I realized that I could flavor my own liquors, I went overboard. Completely. I wanted to make a bottle of everything that a decent liquor store would have on their shelf. I've spent HOURS tirelessly researching various ways to make various liquors- some of which I've never even heard of before.

In case you're not buying that- stay upcoming feature will be "mocktails"- fun drinks for summer afternoons, for parties, for baby showers- any time you want something different to drink that DOESN'T have alcohol in it :D

So now we've reached Grand Marnier- a more complicated flavor than those found in any of the recipes I've posted thus far, but lovely. And many applications- it appears an a number of drinks, to which it imparts a nice orangy-vanilla flavor, and it also is one of the liquors most commonly used in cooking. There are dozens of recipes in books and on the internet for fancy desserts made with Grand Marnier

The Grand Marnier I made is front center in this picture

Grand Marnier
4 medium oranges
1 vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup brandy
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Wash and peel oranges, making sure to get only orange skin and no white pith. Add to liquor and vanilla bean. Steep 2-3 weeks, strain and filter.
Boil together sugar and water for about 5 minutes at full boil and be sure sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool. Add to liquor and let age 4 weeks.

I only strained mine, I didn't filter it as well. I'm not going to say this was a bad decision, but it certainly did leave all of the little black vanilla seeds drifting about in my bottle, which I don't object to in the least- I figure they will continue to infuse vanilla flavor into the liquor, but if you want a beautiful clear liquid in your bottle, I'd suggest filtering it through a fine mesh, or if you don't have that, a coffee filter or paper towel tucked into a funnel or sieve will work just fine.

Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when Grand Marnier is brought up in a culinary context is the ever classic Grand Marnier Souflee, delicious yes, but again, we're looking for new recipes here. Interestingly, Grand Marnier's website is FANTASTIC...lots of recipes there- for drinks AND desserts!

Grand Marnier Creme Brulee:

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