Make Your Own Blood Orange Digestif!

We’ve been making the boozy after-dinner drinks known as digestifs since 2008, when we published DIY projects for six sweetened sips flavored with citrus or herbs. “Digestifs really are the easiest and most rewarding things to make,” says CHOW’s Chris Rochelle, who’s been at it again in the Test Kitchen, this time with blood oranges. Making a blood orange digestif is a simple process of steeping peels in pure grain alcohol for about six days, then straining and sweetening—all you really need is patience. Next week, Chris will show you how to add rich simple syrup to a finished infusion. But for now, here’s what you’ll need to make your own blood orange digestif:

• 6 medium blood oranges
• 2 cups grain alcohol, such as Everclear 151 (it picks up the flavoring elements much faster than vodka)
• 1 1/2 cups Rich Simple Syrup (you'll need this for the second part of the recipe—we’ll post that next week)

Here’s what to do:
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange peel in wide strips, making sure to avoid the white pith. Place the peels in a 1-quart glass jar with a tightfitting lid, add the alcohol, cover, and let steep at room temperature and undisturbed for six days.

And that’s it, at least for now. Read how to finish and store your citrus masterpiece here. Happy steeping!

See also: That Blood Orange Digestif You Made? Add It to Margaritas

Photos by Chris Rochelle