Arancello (Orange-cello) Test - LimoncelloQuest

Arancello (Orange-cello) Test


I made this test batch using the zest of 10 oranges and otherwise the same methodology as the lime-infused batch, 3 weeks infusion with a bottle of 100 proof Smirnoff vodka filtered four times and simple syrup with 2.5 cups water and 2 cups sugar. This batch was easy to distinguish from Limoncello from the color alone. It wasn’t bright orange but it was orange enough to tell.

It had a nice aroma of orange as well but the flavor didn’t pan out nearly as well as the lime batch. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the batch I made with orange last year, but it isn’t great. It’s overly sweet (my fault) and the orange flavor tastes like orange peel rather than oranges. This makes perfect sense but I don’t know why lemons and limes don’t seem to have the same issue. It may be the type of oranges I’m using, I’m not sure. I did use organic oranges, which should have been better than normal ones. Not a successful test. If anyone has an idea why, let me know.

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(22) comments

Erika May 5, 2008

I wonder if you either need more orange zest than you would lemon zest (I’ve noticed in baking that orange zest is much more subtly flavored than the same amount of lemon zest) or if you might need the whole orange. I just started a batch of something I found a recipe for in Saveur– it’s a liqueur called “Quarante-quatre” from Madagascar that involves cutting 44 slits in a whole orange, pushing whole coffee beans into the slits, and then letting the whole thing steep in a jar filled with a liter of rum and 44 teaspoons of sugar for 44 days. Like limoncello, you then consume the stuff neat and freezing cold.

James Kryten May 9, 2008

Hi there! I am thoroughly impressed with your knowledge of Cello. Your insights into this article about Cello was well worth the the time to read it. I thank you for posting such awsome information. Signed James Kryten on this Day Friday.

booka December 14, 2008

I have had good results with arancello by:

1. Increasing the amount of zest (as someohe already mentioned)

2. Using mandarins. Mandarin zest seems to be much more aromatic than ordinary orange zest. Just scratch the peel and see – mandarins smell, and the oranges I get don’t smell much.

I also used a microplane, it definitely helps get the zest without the pith, and the grated zest infuses quicker.

Chauncey Gardner March 4, 2009

I’ve tried making arancello. I use the Everclear 151 and home-grown oranges.It was TERRIBLE. Good Luck!

Kenny Lee May 2, 2009

I just finished my first batch. It was recommended to me to use blood oranges, and although the result is very cloudy, it is very tasty.

Also something to keep in mind: instead of zesting the peel, try using a potato peeler for larger pieces. You still want to avoid getting any white inner skin on your peels, but larger pieces tend to (a) be more substantitive in terms of infusion, and (b) are easier to clean up afterwards.

Dominic V. Orlando May 19, 2009

I actually have a batch of Arangello brewing right now .. I used Ever Clear for the fusion part and added Manderine Vodka as the last step. I’m also trying a batch with Tangerines and added a little bit of the juice to the fusion process to capture the color. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I had Manderello in Sicily last sumer and was awesome!

David M. Sgriccia October 2, 2009

I enjoy your webpages. I have been making Limoncino (that’s what our family calls it!!) for a couple of years. The family recipes go back generations. Our family methods are similar to yours but with some slight variations.

As for Arancino & Tangello… 1) I have used 12 Navel Oranges pealed not planed that came out very good. 2) Five (5) lbs of Costco Clementines Microplaned that was exceptional. 3) A batch using Sunkist Costco Oranges (12) that were shaved that was exteremely good. 4) And a family favorite – Uncle Tony’s Tangello – 13 Microplaned Tangerines.

The absolute family favorite – though extremely expensive – is Limoncino made with Grappa!!! An ancient Italian secret and the final product is not easily shared with non-family members!!

I have never tried Grapefruit nor Limes. So, based upon your comments, limes, at least will be next on my list.



steve October 11, 2009

Has anyone tried using berries,such as strawberries or raspberries? I would like to here info on making it with these fruits.

Rich Scholl October 19, 2009

In France is sold, in grocery stores, an alcohol “for fruits”, which is clear, tasteless, and 40% alcohol by volume. In this it is similar to inexpensive 80-proof (40%) vodka. I believe that Everclear and other high-proof solutions will extract more of the bitter flavors from the rind. I’d suggest that one use vodka (80- or 100-proof) and extract for about 10 days, then dilute with simple syrup to a final 16% strength. That’s a math problem for you; the prize is a great drink!

MBGausman November 18, 2009

Finally got my limoncello perfect. Added 2 whole vanilla beans to the brew which made a big difference. My orangecello is in the making right now – this time of year is great for good fruit. A friend and expert shared with me that adding 5-6 kumquats adds flavor. I followed his advice and put them in the food processor first. Smells heavenly already – I allow 3 months soaking before I filter – not the “usual” 40 days. Worth the wait!

pamelaitaliana January 31, 2010

Try using Sicilian oranges, they’re the Rolls-Royce of oranges.

Anthony Talbert February 15, 2010

Some friends of ours in Italy gave us a recipe for what they called “special orange” cello. It calls for the zest of four lemons and four oranges plus four carrots peeled and shredded – added to a liter of 95% grain alcohol.

Seems strange, I know, but it is our family’s favorite. The carrots seem to “mellow” it out. I usually add some red food coloring to create a more orange color. I usually use 750 ml of 190 proof Everclear and decrease the lemons, oranges, and carrots to three.

While we have taken to buying Caravella limoncello rather than making our own, the above recipes beats the Caravella Orangecello hands down!

Thanks to Olivero & Luciano of “Il Professionisti Ristorante” in Rome for the recipe.

Rebecca Dickenson March 6, 2010

I’m new to the whole process,but excited to get started. I’ve read everyones comments on how theirs turned out. Does anyone have any advice for first timers like me?

ANTHONY SCERBO March 6, 2010

I’ve been making orangecello for 3 years now, and it seems to me that i’m getting the best results from Californian navel oranges. The most important step is to wash the oranges with a good vegatable/fruit wash, this will remove all wax and pesticides from the fruit that can alter the taste.I can not stress to you how important this step is.

More zest always seems the way to go with orangecello.I use approx. 7 oranges(or more) per liter of Everclear (not vodka!!)I let mine steep with the Everclear for 6-8 weeks mixing everyday . Depending how sweet you like it I use 3-4 cups of sugar per liter of Everclear and equal amounts of water to Everclear.Good luck to all

Lisa June 13, 2010


I’ve made fragellocello (spelling) which is limoncello without the lemon – with strawberries instead. And it is amazing! Go for it. I don’t have any measurements I can offer b/c I eyeball it, but I use vodka. I’m not quite sure why I see so many posts about using Everclear since vodka is much smoother. Go for a brand that’s distilled more than 4 times. I just used fresh strawberries, crushed them up, let the mixture sit for several days and then added the water and sugar necessary. Good stuff!

Viv July 26, 2010

Try it with Seville oranges, they’re only available Jan/feb, they are bitter and more like a lemon. I made seville orange Gin earlier this year and it’s awesome.

skrewloose 412 August 10, 2010

just finished a batch of “orange”ghetto-cello. i (4-times) filtered jacquins 100 pf.($8) 10 sunkist oranges ($5) zest (stickers and wax removed and washed off) 1/2 teaspoon of each ( cinnamon, ground cloves) 1/4 tsp of ground ginger (everyone has these laying around). you can add simple syrup in the final steps, but leave it strong and when you serve it, cut it with either ginger ale or your favorite lemon-lime soda (diet works well too). ($1) i’m pretty sure at this point it doesn’t classify as arangello but its so awesome and the sugar content comes only from the fruit not the 2 pounds of sugar added at the end (less hangover/headache). $15 for a nice BBQ party punch this summer.

Uzzy July 20, 2014

I’ve made it with grapefruit several times using the ruby red grapefruit it comes up with a nice pink color.
I mix 1 fifth Everclear with peel from 3 grapefruits and let set 4 weeks. Pour off any on top oil. Boil 3 cups sugar with a quart of water. Mix together and let set 4 weeks or longer. The longer the more mild.
I have also heard that it can be done with the green husks from the outside of black walnuts…really no fooling.

Bob May 3, 2016

I just made my first batch of arancello using 190 proof (95%) grain alcohol (Everclear). Granted it’s not the easiest to acquire depending on where you are, but some states such as New Jersey still carry that proof, which is best for extracting all the flavors from the rind, or so I’ve read and now experienced.

I used 8 large organic oranges and 2 organic lemons and used a microplane zester to get all the rind off the outside, which I find is much better than trying to use a potato peeler as you run next to zero risk of getting any of the bitter pith in the mixture also. Let steep in the dark in the basement for one month in an airtight glass container, shaking up daily for the first week and then once a week after that.

After that prepare the simple syrup, of which you’ll need a rough final volume of 1 liter to cut the grain alcohol down to around 40%, which is the proper alcohol level for arancello, limoncello, and nocino (the walnut liquor mentioned by Uzzy). I used 2.5 cups of sugar dissolved in 3.5 cups of water. The alcohol will still be hot, so let it sit for a few months. Chances are you’ll have a few bottles so take one out of the cellar then and let the rest sit, they’ll continue to mellow over time!

Tom February 10, 2017

Tried it with blood oranges. Sat for two weeks, then infused with the simple syrup, then I added a quart of light cream. Bottled them and refrigerated for another week. Everyone loved it! I did use the everclear rather than a vodka.

Charles Hardin October 9, 2017

After 2 years my orange and limoncello are spot on. I use 95% grain alcohol, distilled water, my sit Time is a minimum of 60 days. I zest using a microplane for no bitterness. I use a alcohol reduction chart to end up at 27% alcohol. I strain 4 times using a 10 mesh kitchen strainer (finest I could find), finish by 2 trips through a 40 mesh straining bag. Does not freeze, before the mesh bag would have some ice at 29% alcohol. I stick with the .750ml grain as it fills my 1 gallon sitting jars when mixed with the sugar syrup. The 95% grain alcohol removes more flavor from the zest than a lower percentage alcohol.

Gregory Smith January 30, 2022

I made Orangecello using 6 navel oranges (organic, zest rines only). 1L of 190 proof Everclear, Let the everclear/orange rines set for 4wks. 1LB,11oz sugar, and 2L water, Added sugar to boiling water and let cool. Added sugar water to orange/Alcohol, tastes great. Result as best I can calculate is alcohol content is about 29% give or take and sweetness is about right. Can’t really tell what the brix is since oranges add their own sweetness to the mix.

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