How Long To Let Homemade Orange Liqueur Sit For The Best Flavor

Tailored to your taste, homemade orange liqueur is the fresh and zesty tipple that you need to DIY as soon as possible. All that's required is a neutral base liqueur (ideally, vodka) and some citrus. After adding in orange slices, zest, or a combination of the two into a spirit, the only thing left to do is wait. But, how long exactly should the homemade liqueur be left to rest before achieving optimal flavor?

The truth is that timeframes can vary based on a few factors. Given the strength or intensity of an ingredient, infusions may need more or less time. That said, when it comes to mild ingredients such as citrus, they should always rest for a minimum of two weeks in order to impart any significant taste, aroma, and color. 

However, since personal preference can also affect infusion timelines, the citrus scraps can also be left to steep a bit longer. If you prefer bigger and bolder flavors, rather than more muted expressions of citrus, then pulp and peels can actually be left to infuse for up to a month. Regardless of how long you decide to let the liquor sit, it's always a good idea to check on its progress. After all, giving the infusion a smell and a sip is really the only way to gauge how well the flavors are developing.

Amplify flavors with these tips and tricks

Despite the fact that letting a liquor infuse over a period of time is really the only way to impart orange-esque characteristics, there are also subtle methods to amp up the flavor in the meantime. For example, it can be helpful to gently crush or even twist orange peels to release more aromatic oils and expose more surface area to the liquor. Additionally, as the citrus-laden spirit rests over a period of weeks, frequently giving the jar a swirl can also be a great way to ensure a better distribution of flavors.

Once you're satisfied with the result, the infused liquor can be turned into liqueur by straining the spirit of orange peels or any fruit flesh and mixing it with simple syrup. While you could use a basic sugar and water recipe, there's another opportunity to enhance flavors with the addition of a citrus-infused simple syrup. Then, once again, it's best to let the freshly-made orange liqueur rest for an additional week or so to allow flavors to fully combine and soften.

As for how long the homemade liqueur can sit once it's ready to be consumed, the tipple can last for at least a year when kept well-sealed and stored somewhere cool. However, based on how full of flavor and vibrancy the perfectly infused cordial can be, it's not likely to remain idle for long!