The bitter component is gentle here; what comes through is a warm, sweet spice infusion that's excellent in an old-fashioned cocktail or stirred into a cup of mulled wine. (Note: It's illegal to ship spirits in the U.S.)
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- Calories: 36
- Calories from fat: 0.0%
- Protein: 0.0g
- Fat: 0.0g
- Saturated fat: 0.0g
- Carbohydrate: 1.3g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Sodium: 0.1mg
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
- 2 oranges
- 1 bottle (750 ml.) Everclear* (grain alcohol)
- 10 cardamom pods
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 3 cinnamon sticks (each 2 1/2 in.)
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 1. Preheat oven to 250°. Remove zest from oranges with a vegetable peeler and put zest on a baking sheet (save fruit for another use). Bake until zest dries, starts to curl up, and begins to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
- 2. Put all ingredients except sugar in a 1-qt. glass jar and seal tightly. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks.
- 3. Strain liquid through cheesecloth into a 1 1/2- to 2-qt. glass jar (save flavorings) and set aside. Put flavorings in a small saucepan with 2 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Set aside.
- 4. Cook sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, lifting and shaking pan occasionally, until sugar caramelizes and turns deep amber, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour caramel into liquid in pan (it will bubble furiously and may firm up). If needed, return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until caramel melts again.
- 5. Set pan in a bowl of ice water until liquid is cold, about 10 minutes. Pour into jar with first infusion. Seal and let stand in a dark place 5 days.
- 6. Strain final mixture through cheesecloth into a glass measuring cup and discard flavorings. Divide bitters into small jars and seal tightly.
- *Find at liquor stores.
- Make ahead: Up to 1 year, chilled.
- Bottle it: 7.5-in. clear glass bottle, $3.99; save-on-crafts.com
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