Accidentally Cooking

Documenting my mistakes in the garden, kitchen and pantry

Triple Sec and Orange Extract

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This is the end of my citrus-themed block of blog posts. I know you all have been patiently waiting for me to get to the good stuff: the booze. In my last couple recipes I’ve been saving Orange zest and putting it into a jar with vodka. When the jar was filled, I let it sit, patiently. Today I present two recipes for turning this mixture into Triple Sec for drinking and Orange Extract for baking (and emergency drinking).


Orange Extract

  • Orange Zest (peels with the white pith removed) [1]
  • Vodka (stronger is better [2])

Put the orange zest in a jar. Fill with vodka. Put the lid on it. Go watch TV.

In a few weeks[3] (I hope you didn’t spend that entire time in front of the tube!) you should have delightful orange extract. Strain out the peels. Put the mixture into a nice-looking jar and keep it somewhere out of reach of direct sunlight and unattended teenagers.

Triple Sec

  • Orange Zest (peels with the white pith removed)
  • Vodka (Stronger is better)
  • Simple Syrup [4]

Put the orange zest in a jar. Fill with vodka. Put the lid on it. Go watch TV.

After a few weeks [3], you’ve got orange extract (deja vu, anybody?). Make a simple syrup with equal parts sugar and water, heating on the stove until all the sugar is dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool. Mix equal parts of orange extract and syrup together. Mix well to get home-made Triple Sec. Drink it all. Wake up 1000 miles away in the bathroom of a Greyhound bus without any socks on [5].


Here’s a picture showing my bottle of Triple Sec, a jar of extract, and the drained jar of pathetic-looking orange peels.


The triple sec is very tasty, especially once it’s been allowed to refrigerate and cool down to a drinkable temperature.  Once cooled, it’s very tasty indeed. The orange extract has a great orange aroma and nice muted orange flavor. Dana and I are both looking forward to some Margaritas and some orange-flavored baked goods.


  1. I used mostly zest from the Moro Blood Oranges, which have a slightly different taste from what something like a Navel or a Valencia orange might have.
  2. The wonderful state of PA keeps our options pretty limited. We used regular 80-proof vodka. One day I’ll go down to a liquor store in DE to buy the good stuff, and then I’ll be a felon. Or a misdemeanon (depending on the quantity that I transport over state lines).
  3. Several people I’ve seen online recommend waiting at least 6 weeks, but I did not wait that long. Surprise surprise.
  4. Simple Syrup is, depending on which recipe you follow, equal parts water and sugar, boiled until all the sugar is dissolved. I’ve also seen variations substituting orange juice for the water, and adding more sugar than liquid (4:3, etc) or both. All my juice ended up in the jam recipes, so I just used water.
  5. But your shoes are still on, for some reason. What the heck have you been doing for the last three days, and where did your socks go?

Author: Andrew Whitworth

I'm a software engineer from Philadelphia PA. Sometimes I like to go out to my garden, or step into my kitchen and make a really big mess of things.

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