On my morning walk to the "L" I pass a long bank of newspaper dispensers. It's your usual mix of free classifieds, junk magazines, and newspapers. I frequently see many people reading one particular free newspaper. Every so often I'll pick one up myself, and it's a fine paper except for the fact that it takes me about 5 minutes to read it from cover to cover. I remember the days when my dad used to spend 3 hours on Sunday morning reading the local paper, and it was full of informative articles and quality investigative journalism. Sadly, this is getting harder and harder to find. Fortunately for us, most reporting is now done through online mediums, making it easy to weed out the stuff you don't want to read. I find The New York Times to be one of my go-to websites to get a good mix of culture and timely news. Not to mention Dining and Wine!
I was looking through this delicious section one day during my lunch break and I came across a feature called the DIY Cooking Handbook. You may have suspected this about me, but I'm sort of a closet DIYer. Not so much in the Martha sense where I want to grow my own cotton and build a loom, but more in the roast-your-own-coffee, butcher-a-whole-chicken, and in this case, make-your-own-liqueur sense.
This is a traditional French liqueur and it is both tasty and versatile. Feel free to drink it straight-up or mixed with Champagne, Prosecco, sparkling water, or even a nice dry Chenin Blanc.
Warning: this recipe takes patience, but maybe you can pass the time reading your favorite newspaper. Whatever you decide, make sure to check back in 6 weeks with our liqueur results.
from The New York Times
3 tangerines or oranges
2 lemons or grapefruit, or one of each
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
2 liters rose (about 2 1/2 bottles)
1 cup vodka
1/4 cup dark rum
Thoroughly clean all fruit, as you will be using the peel in the wine.
Slice fruit in thick wheels and place in a large container with a lid. Add sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, rose and vodka. Stir well with a spoon (not wooden; it could have bacteria in it that will hurt the fermentation process) and put the lid on. Place in the fridge for 6 weeks, shaking occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
After 6 weeks, mix in dark rum and strain out everything else. Store at room temperature or in the fridge indefinitely.