Easy Homemade Orange Liqueur Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide

Easy Homemade Orange Liqueur Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide

Elevate your cocktail game with this delightful homemade orange liqueur recipe. Forget about pricey top-shelf brands or disappointing bottom-shelf options – creating your own is not only cost-effective but also incredibly fun and rewarding.

Orange liqueur is a staple in any well-stocked bar. Whether you know it as curaçao, triple sec, or by brand names like Cointreau and Grand Marnier, this versatile spirit is essential for countless cocktails.

Store-Bought Orange Liqueurs: What’s Available?

You’ll find various orange liqueurs in liquor stores. Most are clear and based on neutral spirits, like Cointreau and Patron Citronge. Grand Marnier, with its Cognac base, offers a richer flavor profile. While premium brands deliver quality, lower-priced options often fall short with their overly sweet taste and harsh bite.

Why Make Your Own Orange Liqueur?

DIY orange liqueur isn’t just about saving money – it’s about crafting a versatile spirit that suits a wide range of cocktails. By blending navel and bitter orange peels with brandy and vodka, you’ll create a balanced, sweet-but-not-too-sweet flavor that elevates both classic and experimental drinks.

While it may not be as refined as premium brands, homemade orange liqueur easily outshines bottom-shelf alternatives. Plus, you can experiment with additional spices or flavorings to create unique batches that pair perfectly with your favorite spirits.

Endless Possibilities: How to Use Your Homemade Orange Liqueur

Once you start using your homemade orange liqueur, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. It’s a key ingredient in countless cocktails, from classic sours like Margaritas and Sidecars to fruity concoctions like Sangria.

Beyond cocktails, this versatile spirit shines in hot beverages like spiked hot chocolate and mulled cider. It’s also a secret weapon in the kitchen, adding depth to desserts like crepes, chocolate mousse, cheesecake, and biscotti.

DIY Orange Liqueur Recipe


  • 1/4 cup (25g) zest from 3 small navel oranges
  • 1 tablespoon (3g) dried bitter orange peel
  • 1 cup (237ml) brandy
  • 1 cup (237ml) vodka
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cups (402g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (356ml) water


  1. In a small sealable container, combine the zest, dried orange peels, brandy, and vodka. Seal tightly and give it a good shake. Let this aromatic mixture steep for 19 days at room temperature. On the 20th day, add the cloves, seal, and shake again. Allow it to steep for one more day, building those complex flavors.
  2. Create a simple syrup by bringing sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring until fully dissolved. Allow this syrup to cool completely. Strain the orange-infused alcohol through a fine-mesh strainer, then again through a coffee filter to remove all solids. Combine this strained mixture with the cooled simple syrup in a clean jar or bottle. Shake well and let it rest for at least one day before using. Your homemade orange liqueur can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a year, but it’s at its best within the first three months.


You can find dried bitter orange peels at homebrew shops, herb specialists, or online retailers. Feel free to experiment with additional herbs or spices like cinnamon or vanilla to create your own unique blends. Remember, your homemade orange liqueur doesn’t need refrigeration and can last up to a year, though it’s best enjoyed within a few months of making.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
2496 Calories
0g Fat
407g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 2496
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 407g 148%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 399g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 37mg 184%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 78mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

You may also like: