Spiced arancello

Spiced arancello

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(23 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins plus 2 weeks standing


Makes about 2.5 litres
If you're a fan of the Italian liqueur, limoncello, try this Christmassy version made with oranges and spices

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (85ml)

  • kcal179
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs27g
  • sugars27g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g
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  • 5 large orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1l bottle vodka



    Originally associated with Russia, Slavonic, Baltic and Scandinavian countries, vodka has become…

  • 600g caster sugar
  • a few extra oranges, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and vanilla pods, to bottle


  1. Pare the zest from the oranges using a peeler, making sure that none of the bitter white pith is left on the peel. Put the zest, spices and vanilla pod in one large or several smaller clean jars, then tip in the vodka. Seal and leave for a week, shaking the jar each day.

  2. After one week, you’re ready for the next stage. Boil a kettle of water. Put the sugar in a heatproof bowl, then pour over 500ml boiling water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add to the vodka mix, then leave for another week, shaking the jar regularly. Strain into decorative bottles, discarding the peel and spices, and store in a cool place until Christmas. Before giving, drop some fresh spices and peel into each bottle to decorate. Will keep bottled for 6 months.

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Comments (51)

scarymamma's picture

I'm making this for the first time today, having made lemoncello and creme de cassis before. The recipe states that it makes 2.5 litres of arancello. Speaking as a chemist, from 1L of vodka and 500ml of sugar syrup this is IMPOSSIBLE!

satutatu's picture

I allowed the pre-sugar vodka mix to 'mature' for 3 weeks and I just added the sugar syrup this evening. My scales broke so had to do the syrup by guesswork, but as I didn't want it too sweet I erred on the side of caution. I guess +\- 300g. Looking forward to it thickening up & enjoying with bubbly at Christmas!!

Christmas Baker's picture


I am in the process of making this for Christmas but I just wondered if anybody could let me know what the consistency of this should be. Mine seems to be quite thin at the moment. I didn't add as much sugar as required (100g less) but kept the same amount of water! Hope I haven't ruined it! Help!!!

Thanks guys!

dannyw1uk's picture

I make this every year and worry about the consistency. Its a thin drink until the sugar is added and it will go more 'syrup like' after a week with sugar in it.
I used the 600g in the first year but on following a recommendation on here this year I went with 250g to 500ml water and there is ZERO difference in taste as far as I can tell. Its going down very well yet again.
We usually have it neat but I might try the suggestion of a drop or 2 in something fizzy this year.
Don't forget half the fun with these things is to change it to your own taste anyway so if its not to your liking this time get another batch on quickly and play with it util your're happy! :-)
Merry Christmas!

sarahwhiddett's picture

Absolutely gorgeous. My daughter made it for us and only used 200g of sugar and it's still lovely and sweet (not sickly). The remaining 400g wasn't missed at all.

emylaroux's picture


We're making this for Christmas presents right now. No idea how it'll turn out, but the bottles to give as presents are from http://www.world-of-bottles.co.uk/

I had already made the executive decision to do 25% sugar syrup to 75% vodka mix, though. I'm not a fan of sickly drinks. Can always dunk in a sugar cube when it's time to drink :)

emylaroux's picture


We're making this for Christmas presents right now. No idea how it'll turn out, but the bottles to give as presents are from http://www.world-of-bottles.co.uk/

I had already made the executive decision to do 25% sugar syrup to 75% vodka mix, though. I'm not a fan of sickly drinks. Can always dunk in a sugar cube when it's time to drink :)

amyndaz's picture

This is a very nice Xmas drink, and so easy to make for a gift. I wanted to make 6 x 500ml bottles as gifts, and hopefully have some left over for ourselves. I had to do 3x this recipe to get enough for both the gifts and ourselves, so be warned you may not have enough if you think the exact measurements will cover it.

suzlovescake's picture

Made this for Christmas hampers and it was so easy, with a great result. Have a bit left over for me so might experiment with making some different cocktails to see if there are any good recipes I can attach to the bottles when I give them away. If anyone has any suggestions let me know!

julesthenorweegie's picture

In the making! :D

lhb31978's picture

We've made this for the last 2 years and everyone loves it. We serve it topped up with CAVA and it tastes amazing. 'Christmas in a glass' as a few have already mentioned.

littlechef87's picture

You can buy nice bottles on ebay for much cheaper than Lakeland etc - I'll be doing this and making gallons of the stuff!

dizzycooking's picture

Nice but very very sweet

samanthaecclestone's picture

We did this for Christmas. Doubled the ingredients,used cheap vodka, and only used 1000g of sugar. It tasted really nice and went down really well with the family. We found bargin wine bottles from Wilkinson online;6 clear bottles for under £5.

danielamacdonald's picture

I can't find proper cinnamon. The packets here all use Cassia (though they are marked cinnamon). I know this has a stronger flavour? Will this make much of a difference? Make it too strong/bitter?

wendykr's picture

After reading all of the above, I've just done stage two and only added half of the sugar water (300g sugar plus 250ml water) and it tastes sweet enough for me! I suppose the only drawback is that the shelf life might be shorter, but I doubt if it will last long around my lot anyway......

Will update next week after bottling ceremony :-)

grizell's picture

Am going to make this this week and just wanted to share some shopping tips.
I bought my vanilla pods on ebay for a lot less than in the shops and clear glass wine bottles can be found at Roys and Wilkinsons for about £5 for 6.
Hope that helps!

cjclare's picture

cant wait to make this, and thanks to liznfil for the link to the fantastic bottles website.


Questions (3)

dannyw1uk's picture

For those using a lesser amount of sugar, do you still use the same amount of water (IE 500ml) specified in the recipe or not?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Danny, 

Yes, use the same amount of liquid as the full quantity of sugar. 

Best wishes. 

satutatu's picture

I did, and from the other comments here I think that's what many others did too....

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