Some years back I had a job as a rep and one of my customers had some large, catering tins of pulped orange. They’d been on the shelf for ages and he was ready to bin them so they ended up coming home with me, which is where this simple orange wine recipe comes in.
We decided that the best thing to do was to turn them into wine. In those days there wasn’t any internet to look up things, so out with the trusty wine recipes book where we found this simple orange wine recipe.
We replaced the fresh oranges and lemon in the recipe with the pulped oranges and set about brewing. When the fermentation had stopped and it was time to rack off into bottles, we took a taste and were happily surprised. Sweet and very orange but light and with a kick. We’d invented alco-pops!
After just a month in the bottle it was fine to drink. The test gallon being a success, we immediately started a 5 gallon ferment. Some months later we had a party and most everything drinkable was gone by late on. Except for 5 gallons of orange wine sitting in the demijohns waiting to be bottled.
Next morning there were just 3 gallons left to bottle! Definitely a wine that can be enjoyed young. Here’s the recipe it was based on, which does produce a sharper wine with a cleaner flavour than our tinned-pulp version. I think that is because of the lemon balancing the orange.
Ingredients for Simple Orange Wine Recipe
- 8 Sweet Oranges
- 2 Lemons
- 4 lb White Granulated Sugar
- Wine Yeast
- Yeast Nutrient
Method for Simple Orange Wine Recipe
- Unless organic, un-waxed fruits are used, wash well under hot water to remove and wax.
- Zest the fruits and then peel the pith off. Roughly chop the peeled fruits and place into a sterilised wine bucket with the zest. Mash a little as well, an old-fashioned potato masher is ideal.
- Pour on about 6 pints of boiling water, stir well and cover. Leave for 5 days, stirring daily or more frequently if you can.
- Strain off the liquid into a pan, gently heat the water and, whilst stirring, add the sugar. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, return to the wine bucket and allow to cool to 20°C
- Add the yeast and yeast nutrient. After a week the initial fermentation should have calmed, transfer to a demijohn, topping up with cooled, boiled water if needed. Fit the airlock.
- Leave in a warm place until fermentation stops and then move the demijohn to a cool place for a month prior to racking off into bottles.
Usually best left for 3 months but very drinkable young.