Spiced arancello

Spiced arancello

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(27 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 oranges



    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, questions and tips

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9th Nov, 2010
I've made this for the last two years - it's always been a highly appreciated gift. I would suggest making it as early as possible. (I've missed the opportunity this year - and it's only early Nov). When it's "young" it's good - but if you hide a bottle at the back of the cupboard - steep the orange and spices for 3 months in the dark then do the syrup and then hide it in the cupoard - for a year it's EVEN better. I'm sure this would really put you off actually tackling it - but it's not a labour heavy recipe and it's so worth it. you could give as a gift and say "dont' open until next Christmas"! My lovely lyrical friend described it as "Christmas in a glass".
9th Oct, 2010
I'm just about to try making this - just wanted to add that Ikea is a really great place for cheap decorative glass bottles and kilner-style jars for mking this.
29th Sep, 2010
Hi,have only just found the site but want to make my christmas presents this year.Love the sound of this recipe,but so many of you has said its too sweet,does anyone think you could just add more vodka and taste as necessary?
18th Dec, 2009
Hi. I am making this just now but wondering if you have to split the vanilla pod to release it's flavour or will it be too strong?
16th Dec, 2009
Forgot to say i only added 500g of sugar after reading the comments and felt it was just right.
16th Dec, 2009
Made this for family christmas presents to share and everyone has loved it so far. Made 2 and a bit bottles so kept the extra bit for myself! Its lovely. Went everywhere for bottles, but so expensive! So i found a drink called bottle green pomegranate and elderflower in morrisons (750 ml clear bottle). Was £1.14 so bought 3 and drank the contents (which wasnt bad) then cleaned and removed labels from bottles and it worked a treat! Makes a lovely gift as looks very pretty. Will deffo make again.
23rd Jul, 2009
I made this using double the quantity of all ingredients, except the vodka, which I trippled! Using these proportions (and using a very cheap vodka!) it was a little harsh on the throat after the initial two weeks, but after a further two weeks it was delicious and mellow. I gave out most of it as presents and everybody loved it and I'm under instructions to make more.
27th May, 2009
A good christmas present. It is a bit sweet but nice served cold with lots of ice.
17th May, 2009
I made this for Christmas presents and it went down a treat. Such a mellow taste. Didn't use as much sugar but still found it sweet enough.
25th Mar, 2009
Imade this for my mum& Dad for christmas after they tried some i'd made for our christmas drinks. It's really mellow even using cheap vodka it' not fire water. Nice to have after a cold winter walk to warm you up.


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