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Vodka Soaked Oranges? Why not make Creamsicle Marmalade

January 2, 2011

This marmalade was created out of the need to NOT waste any of the boozy navel oranges that remained after creating some Orange Liqueur.  So, it will be a two-part post.  First, the making of Orange Liqueur and then we will get to the Creamsicle Marmalade.

We were inspired to create the Orange Liqueur after reading Pam’s post on Sidewalk Shoes.  Pam is always creating something cool in the kitchen and this one really resonated with us…how could it not?  Afterall, vodka was involved.  It’s pretty easy to make with the most difficult part being the patience that’s involved while you wait for the flavours to marinate.


  • 26 oz bottle of vodka…the cheap stuff will do.
  • 6 sweet oranges, like navels
  1. Pour the vodka into a clean mason 1.5mL mason jar (or any large jar) with a tight-fitting lid.  Wash the oranges and slice them into 1/4″ rounds and submerge them in the vodka.  Store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, shaking it once a day.
  2. Strain the liquid through a damp jelly bag or cheesecloth lined sieve (remember to dampen it so that it does not steal any of your precious orange vodka).  Return the vodka to a jar, and put it back in its cool, dark place to age for 3 weeks to mature the flavour…Note: we skipped this part.  We didn’t really understand why it needed to mature or how the flavour would change since the orange slices were removed…do as you will…maybe you can be more patient.
  3. Make a simple syrup by combining the ingredients below in a saucepan.  Heat on medium-high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Allow to cool completely.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups orange flavour vodka
  1. Strain the vodka again through the sieve into a large mixing bowl and add the simple syrup.  Add a bit of the syrup at a time if you don’t want it too sweet…remembering that it will get sweeter as it ages.  We added it all. 
  2. Using a funnel pour into clean sterilized jars, cover tightly, label and store in a cool dark place for 6 weeks.  Here again, we’re not sure why you need to store it for an additional 6 weeks…it tastes good…maybe, it gets better.  We also believe the shelf life is indefinite as there is so much alcohol.

Put up Total:

  • 2 x 375mL bottles
  • 1 x 500mL bottle

Now, onto the Creamsicle Marmalade.  We just couldn’t throw away those vodka soaked orange slices…what to do!?!  Make vodka marmalade!  This marmalade is inspired by one of my favorite little drinks…the creamsicle.  The creamsicle uses just a few basic ingredients (vodka, vanilla vodka, orange juice and cream) and they kinda take you back to those fond childhood memories of eating frozen creamsicles…you know the ones?…less the alcohol.  Anyway, this marmalade is based on that drink and here is how we recreated it in a marmalade.


  • 2 pounds sweet oranges, thinly sliced and cut into eighths (we used navels) ~ 1 1/2 pounds came from the orange flavoured vodka and the additional 1/2 pound we added.
  • 1 3/4 cups organic cane sugar
  • juice of 1 orange (freshly squeezed with seeds removed)
  • 1 organic bourbon vanilla bean
  1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine orange eighths, sugar and orange juice.  Mix together.  Transfer the mixture to an 11- or 12 quart copper preserving pan or a non-reactive saucepan.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add sliced open vanilla bean and seeds to the pot.
  4. Continue to boil for approximately 15 minutes.  At this point, you may want to start to test for doneness.  Remove from heat and using a frozen teaspoon transfer a small bit onto a frozen plate. Allow to sit for 30 seconds. Run your finger through the small dallop and if it remains separate it is finished.  If not, return to the stove and continue to cook, being careful to check it again in a minute or so.
  5. When the marmalade is finished skim the foam (if any), remove and discard the vanilla pod, and pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace, wipe rim, add lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

This marmalade has a great flavour but we did over cook it slightly.  The best thing to do is to start testing it for doneness once the foaming bubbles subside…for this marmalade it was about 15 minutes into the cooking time.  Below is a pictorial of how this marmalade looked from the start of cooking until just about finished. 

Initially, the marmalade will bubble gently but as more of the moisture cooks out of it and the sugar concentrates, it will begin foaming.  As seen below.

Once the foaming bubbles occur be sure to stir it occasionally with a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula.  When the marmalade colour darkens slightly and the bubbles decrease in size it is a good indication that most of the moisture has evaporated and that it is reaching the set point.

At this point, you should be testing for doneness.  We left ours bit longer…a minute or so can make a big difference and there is no going back.  So, it is better to be cautious and start testing early.

Put up Total:

  • 3 x 250mL regular mouth mason jars
  • 1 x 250mL wide mouth mason jars
5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2011 11:17 pm

    The Orange Vodka sounds so yummy. I will have to try this. I just now found your blog through & I look forward to reading more posts.

  2. January 3, 2011 12:38 am

    Oh wow! This is beyond awesome! What a great way to use the oranges!!

  3. Tarc permalink
    January 3, 2011 12:54 pm

    I love the marmelade idea. I’ve been infusing vodkas and brandies for a few years now, and I can highly recommend doing it – the flavors and character are very different than you get from a industrial product and there are benefits and drawbacks of each method. I tend to seriously prefer the homemade infusions. I did want to mention to go with a mid-range price vodka – just like wine in cooking, don’t use anything that you wouldn’t drink normally – but also don’t bother using an expensive vodka (save that Grey Goose for icy sipping!). I like Skyy or Absolute (the latter of which just dropped in price by a couple dollars recently), and you can garner more savings by purchasing the 1.75 liter bottle. Most infusers do their initial extraction with just the flavorant and the alcohol, and then add the sugar syrup and age after removing the flavorant (though there are some recipes that don’t follow that procedure). The infusion absolutely DOES mellow in that final maturation, but it is usually delicious right away, so sip a little in the name of ‘testing’ and let the rest age in the bottle. I did a fresh cranberry and a milk liquor (which is really a milk chocolate cordial with a vodka base that comes out clear) earlier this year, and they were a big hit over Christmas. And last week’s vacation had me setting up some test batches of red current, ginger (like Canton), a toasted walnut (like nocino), a satsuma honeyed brandy, a fresh pineapple white rum, and a sexy herbal French spiced vodka called Millefleur. I’m very excited to taste! But thanks for the idea to use the infused fruit when you can for jams. We have some Palestinian sweet lime marmelade on the counter we made last week, with some orange to go. I think those lovely brandied satsuma peels would work perfectly in some marmelade… 😀

  4. January 15, 2012 2:40 pm

    I tried to make this today but burned mine. It didn’t seem to have much liquid either, mostly orange rind. Not sure if I didn’t cut them thin enough or not enough sugar maybe? I’m not experienced enough to know if I could have saved it somehow, so tossed it. Bummer – but at least the vodka turned out and that was what I started with anyway. Using the oranges was a leftover thought, and I’ll try again next time!!

    • January 21, 2012 10:22 am

      It was also a left over thought for us and ours did set up quickly…it’s tasty but doesn’t spread easily.

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