Citrus Is All You Need To Rescue Undrinkable Wine

If life gives you lemons and a bottle of undrinkable wine, you may think that it isn't your lucky day. Perhaps your wine bottle is safe to drink, but not particularly appetizing. Or maybe the oranges you just purchased aren't as sweet as you'd like, or you've accidentally bought bitter Seville oranges by mistake. But before tossing the bottle (and after all, corked wine is perfectly safe to drink) you may want to reconsider and take a good look at your bag of lemons or particularly bitter oranges to see them in a new favorable light since they could save that bottle of bad wine.

The reason? The combination of citrus fruits and bad wine can surprisingly lead to a pretty good aperitif. On her website, "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat" author and chef Samin Nosrat illuminates the way by explaining how to combine the two to make a thirst-slaking and crowd-pleasing vin d'orange.

Vin d'orange takes time so plan ahead

Vin d'orange is easy to make at home yourself. All you need on hand is that bottle of cheap or bad wine, oranges, lemons, vodka, sugar, and a vanilla bean to slightly perfume the concoction. However, fans of vin d'orange will realize that this recipe is just a baseline to follow and can be infinitely customized to your personal whims and tastes. Instead of oranges, you can use grapefruit, lemons, mandarins, limes, kumquats, or any other citrus fruit you can find — you can go the super local route and choose fruits from local farmers or try to find somthing more unique by shopping at international supermarkets for citrus that might be underutizilized (or impossible to grow) in your area, but is more well known in other parts of the world. Your choice of liquor is as swappable as your fruit. Consider swapping out vodka for l'eau de vie, as some French grandmothers do.

The only caveat to making this aperitif out of bad wine is that this isn't an instant fix: vin d'orange takes about 40 days of infusing to make. So it's more of a rainy day activity that'll make you thank yourself much later. Time is your friend — the longer you wait, the deeper the infusion and flavors will be. And once all the flavors are incorporated, saving your bad batch of wine, all you need to do is strain the aperitif into a bottle, chill, and then enjoy your luck.