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Author Notes: Consumption taxes on liquor are very high in Switzerland. The winter is also cold, dark and long. So, I started to make my own limoncello, and then a friend recommended that I make mandarinetto, the mandarin orange version. We have never looked back (although we still do drink a lot of homemade limoncello). —minipanda
Makes 1 liter
- 750 milliliters vodka (I use something on the order of Stoli)
- 4 mandarin oranges or clementines
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Peel the oranges with a vegetable peeler. Try to only peel off the orange part of the skin, not the white pith, to minimize the bitterness.
- Add the orange zest to the vodka. I pour out a little of the vodka into a separate jar and then add the orange peels into the bottle. Alternatively, you can use a larger bottle and just combine the vodka and orange peels in there.
- Let the orange zest sit in the vodka for 1-2 weeks. The longer it sits, the more stronger the orange flavour. However, there is a law of diminishing returns after a week or two.
- When 1-2 weeks have elapsed or your patience has worn out (try to wait at least 4 days though), make the simple syrup. Put the sugar and water in a pan. Heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Strain the vodka. Discard the orange peels.
- Combine the orange vodka and the warm simple syrup in a separate container. Mix well. Now you have mandarinetto.
- Freeze the mandarinetto. Enjoy as a digestif.