Ein Schlückchen in Ehren kann niemand verwehren.
Stopping by grandma’s is always special. Not that it’s special, as in different each time. It’s not. It’s more a chatty visit with ever recurring routines. Not those stiff boring routines that you’re yearning to break out of. Rather those comfortable routines where it feels right because you know what to expect. You know to expect sips and nibbles, cuddled up on the worn out couch that I used to do gymnastics on as a child, getting filled in on the latest incidents in town (like how the window fell out of the frame at the new school), and questions about whether I „finally“ found a new job.
Details have changed over the years. Very important details: instead of Rapp ice tea and Kakao I now get to sip Campari and Chantré like the grown-ups.
While Camapri was something I’d sip and hate, sip and dislike, sip and love, Chantré (alternatively Calvados) grew on me a lot more gradually after I was allowed to have a glass of my own. One take on Chantré that hugely increased that slope of growing favour was orange brandy. I first found the recipe in a book by the Irish author Darina Allen – my favourite cookbook on the shelf. She’s quite vague about the proportions which makes it a recipe right up my alley: it turns out a little different each year. Here’re this year’s proportions.
800 ml brandy (Chantré is what you can get in German supermarkets most easily)
5-8 teaspoons of fine sugar
peel of 5 organic oranges
Wash the oranges under hot water and scrub clean. When you peel them, try to peel it all off in one long strip. It’s easier to remove from the jar later and looks waaay cooler. Pour a little brandy in the jar, add the sugar and shake to dissolve. Add the rest of the brandy and the peel. Seal.
You’ll want to let the orange infuse the brandy for a few months. The one I made is for my mum’s birthday in 2 ½ months time.