Peel satsuma oranges using vegetable peeler, reserving flesh for another use. Scrape bitter white pith from orange rind strips, and discard pith. Place orange rind strips in a large glass pitcher or 3-qt. jar; pour vodka over strips. Cover and let stand at room temperature 7 to 10 days.
Bring sugar and 5 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; let stand 30 minutes. Pour syrup into vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature 24 hours.
Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into another pitcher, discarding orange rind strips. Pour into sealable bottles or Mason jars. Seal and chill 4 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.
*15 minneola tangelos may be substituted.
3 Satsuma-Cello Cocktails. The Southern citrus burst of this homemade liqueur delivers a festive twist to cocktail favorites. (Each recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.)
Satsuma Old-Fashioned: Mix 1 cup Satsuma-cello, 1/2 cup whiskey, 4 dashes Angostura bitters, and 4 dashes Peychaud's bitters in a pitcher. Stir in 2 cups each ice and club soda.
Rosemary-Satsuma Julep: Muddle 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves with 1 cup Satsuma-cello. Let stand 5 minutes. Strain into a pitcher. Stir in 2 cups each ice and club soda.
Basil-Satsuma Julep: Muddle 1/4 cup basil leaves with 1 Tbsp. sugar. Add 1 cup Satsuma-cello. Let stand 5 minutes. Strain into a pitcher. Stir in 2 cups each ice and club soda.