I can’t remember how this conversation started. I suspect it was October when Rachel told us about the Quarante Quatre. It looks funny to type those words. When you say it as an Anglophone it sounds more like “Care Aunt Cat,” where aunt is pronounced in that British sort of way that sounds like you’re saying aught. Quarante-quatre is the number 44 in French, and conveniently that is the only number you have to remember to make this recipe.
We decided to make this recipe at CocoaNymph as a stress relieving activity for the staff. As the days get longer and darker more people pour into our shop seeking a chocolate refuge. Those early arrivals are soon followed by throngs of folks looking to fill their Christmas stockings. We decided to make this jar of Quarante-Quatre and time it to be ready for our staff Christmas party. Every day until then we had to shake the baby. Shaking a jar of home made liqueur is a good thing to do if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the stress of the season. The act is silly, comforting and reminds you about how you are going to enjoy this liqueur when it’s ready.
My friend and coworker Jen had a brilliant gift idea for this liqueur. To each of her friends she is going to give one element of the Quarante-Quatre and tell them how to make it. Then they can bond over making their own batch of this delicious drink.
- 1 orange
- 44 coffee beans
- 44 teaspoons of sugar
- enough vodka to cover
- Find a sealed jar large enough to hold the orange. We used a 1 litre (a.k.a. 2 pint) jar.
- Take a knife and stab the orange 44 times all over its surface.
- Take the 44 coffee beans and poke them piece by piece into the 44 holes.
- Put the slightly mutilated orange into the jar, sprinkle with sugar and cover it with vodka.
- For the next 44 days, shake the jar each day.
- At the end of 44 days, open up the jar, strain the liquor and enjoy!
This turns into a beautiful liqueur. The orange and coffee balance elegantly. Even people who don’t like coffee per say can enjoy this one. We drank it neat in tall stemmed glasses but I’m sure it would go well in cocktails as well. Be careful though this stuff is really easy to drink!