I’ve tried to write this blog post three or four times since Monday.
The thing is, I had this fun celebratory post in mind. I planned to tell you about all the amazing things that happened in San Francisco. I planned to gush about the Eat Boutique lunch with Yvette van Boven who really has become one of my favorite people. I had every intention of sharing the big news about our International Association of Culinary Professionals award. And I planned to sum it all up with this amazing drink that takes weeks to make but when it’s done, it’s worth it in unimaginable ways and you want to celebrate with every sip.
But I live and work in the greater Boston area and I’m not exactly celebrating right now. I can’t tell you exactly what I’m feeling because it changes from moment to moment. I’m still shocked, of course, but then there will be these pointed moments of just feeling lucky to be alive, safe and healthy. I hold onto my husband a little longer. And I’ve had more than a few sips of this Vin d’Orange to tame the shock and celebrate the life.
So… while it goes without saying that I’m deeply affected by what happened during the final hours of the Boston Marathon like so many of my family, friends, colleagues and local Boston people, my people, I’m also joyously grateful to be here. I love this city and I celebrate it – along with all of the little victories from the last couple of weeks – with this drink.
I did go to San Francisco and, despite pouring my uncertainties into this blog post upon my arrival, the universe acted in ways that were so obvious, it made me laugh. I sat alone at the Ferry Building one day, only to be bumped into by a friend made two years prior who supported me and Eat Boutique through our roller coaster ride of a week. We won, we won, the IACP award for Best Culinary Brand. You won – because YOU keep this business going through the markets, through the shopping for small batch food and through the kind words you send over the inter-webs. Thank you.
We may have won, but I just see so much more that has to happen now. We’re working to expand our small batch food offerings (we’re tasting new products as quickly as possible), finalize a few market dates and spaces, and I’m doing a lot more writing. I’ve made so many more new friends, including all the dear folks in San Francisco, who want to see this business expand. There’s so much to do but… before that… let’s sip.
When Heidi and I originally photographed this drink, I adapted a recipe by David Lebovitz from his book, Ready for Dessert. It was lovely and almost too easy to drink – pass me a straw, a lawn chair and a sunny day. Once my order of sour oranges arrived, I adapted Samin’s recipe and haven’t looked back. The bitter finish tempers the sugary start and I want to sip and pause, sip and pause, and then move onto dinner. It really is a lovely aperitif.
Like I said, I’m not looking back. I’m pushing ahead because I have to, and I encourage you to with this recipe. But if you can’t wait the 40 days, then pop open the rosé now and celebrate now. Life will continue to both delight and horrify us in the same instant and there’s really no time to waste.
Makes: 6 750-ml bottles
- 5 liters crisp, bright rosé
- 1 liter vodka
- 1 1/2 pounds organic cane sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split
- 12 Seville oranges
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- Rinse the citrus and cut all of it into quarters. (Do not squeeze the juice from the fruit as the juice will make the final Vin d'Orange cloudy, and no one likes a cloudy Vin d'Orange.)
- Place everything in a large glass jar with a lid. (I found mine at the local Walmart, but you can also use a large bucket.) Stir to dissolve the sugar, cover, and put in a cool space for 40 days. You can opt to store it in a cool closet but I used a dark corner of my kitchen.
- Check on the mixture every few days, adjusting the sugar if necessary, and pulling out a few pieces of orange if it's getting too bitter. I tasted every week and liked how the sweet and bitter taste evolved at exactly 40 days.
- After 40 days, remove the solids and strain through cheesecloth into a big measuring cup and then pour into the bottles, being careful not to add any of the sediment from the bottom of the jar.
- I corked the bottles so I store the Vin d'Orange at room temperature. If it's in an unsealed bottle, then keep it in the fridge for up to a year. Serve chilled, poured over two or three ice cubes, with a twist of orange or lemon.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.