With the lovely assortment of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits appearing at our local farmers markets here from Ojai and my Dad's trees in San Diego, I decided to do this fairly simple homemade aperitif last night from Alice Water's Chez Panisse Fruit book. It won't be ready for another month but an early sampling revealed a very pretty & zingy infusion. Can't wait to see where the flavors go from here...
Vin De Pamplemousse
makes 5 liters (about 5 quarts)
2 white grapefruit (used cocktail grapefruit)
4 ruby red grapefruit
3 meyer lemons or 2 sweet oranges (used some meyer, some blood orange)
1 2" piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise (used Tahitian)
4.5 liters (6 750 ml bottles) crisp white wine (used vin blanc from Coteaux du Languedoc from Trader Joe's)
3/4 liter (3 c) 80-proof vodka (used 151 proof Everclear)
1 3/4 c sugar
Wash fruit and slice into 1/2" thick slabs. Mix all ingredients in a large container. Dissolve sugar completely. Seal up and store in a cool place or fridge for a month. Once a week, check how it's developing and give a stir. If too sweet, add more fruit and wine. If too bitter, add more sugar.
When done infusing, strain and toss out fruit. Allow to sit and settle (covered) untouched for a few days. Using several layers of cheesecloth, gently strain but stop pouring before you get to the cloudy bits at the bottom. Repeat straining until very clear or you're satisfied.
Place in clean wine bottles and close tightly with a cork. Will keep several months at cellar temp or longer in the fridge.