Recipes for Christmas: Elle’s Spiced Arancello – recipe


Well, I hate to say it, the season of Coca Cola has arrived. Personally I’m already bored of the seasonal cheer – and it’s not even mid November yet. Baa Hum Bug!

But, as much as I dislike the over commercialisation of Christmas, I do like to be prepared for the day.  The mince pies are already made and in the freezer, extra pastry made and in the freezer, and my famous ‘cello’ drinks are resting, ready to be bottled up, decorated with gift tags and ribbon.  If you start making these this week, they will be ready in time to give away as gifts. By the time this batch of Arancello is ready, I will be either enjoying the holiday spirits, or in it! 😀


Elle’s Spiced Arancello


  • 5 large oranges
  • 1 litre cheap vodka (emphasis on the word ‘cheap’)
  • 1 long vanilla pod
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long
  • 3-4 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 600g caster sugar


  1. Zest the oranges, and place in a large sterilised glass jug, bottle or container with a lid. Juice the oranges and add to the zest.
  2. Pour over the vodka and stir.
  3. Split the vanilla pod in half and add it, together with the other spices and sugar to the vodka mix. Seal the container and then shake the contents. Leave in a cool, dry place.
  4. Shake the container every day for a week, to endure the ingredients are evenly distributed and the sugar has fully dissolved.
  5. Leave for at least 2 weeks, or as long as you can. This recipe can keep for up to 6 months.

When you’re ready, strain and decant the Arancello into smaller, sterilised bottles or jars, seal with their appropriate tops, add a label, a gift tag, decorate with a small stick of cinnamon, and you have a gift!

I say again, only use the cheapest vodka you can find, there is no point using the expensive, branded vodka, because it makes absolutely no different to the quality of the end product.  The only difference you will notice if you use the posh vodka, is a lighter wallet – and at Christmas the last thing you need is a lighter wallet!

I have a new recipe for Limocello which I’m testing in a few days, if it works, I will post about it here. It’s a very simple recipe and only has 3 ingredients, so please stayed tuned! Plus, I will share more recipes showing how you can use ‘cellos’ as an ingredient. Your Christmas gifts are covered.

Ah, I feel a bit more Christmassy now … but that may be my 3rd testing of the Arancello talking … the things I do for research … hiccup!.


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