The calamansi is the premier, multi-purpose citrus of the Philippines. People use it for medicinal purposes to treat itchiness. People use it for hygiene purposes as deodorant. People use it for cleaning purposes as a stain remover and disinfectant. People use it for cooking for the lemon-tangerine taste. That same citrus taste is perfect for alcohol.
I was inspired to infuse a Filipino-themed flavored alcohol. I did some Googling and I stumbled upon Manille Liqueur de Calamansi. I have never tried it, but I tried to replicate it. I used a lemoncello recipe as the base.
Gather your ingredients:
- Everclear (750 mL) or any high proof vodka
- Calamansi x30
- 3 ½ cups water
- 2 ½ cups sugar
I used 151 proof Everclear because it is illegal to sell alcohol higher than 151 proof in California. 151 proof Everclear proved to work just fine, but I suggest using 190 proof if you do have access to it. I also used the more ripe (orange/yellow) calamansi fruits and not the green ones because that was the only kind available to me. The orange/yellow calamansi worked fine, but I plan on trying this recipe again but with the traditional green calamansi.
Peel the skin off of the calamansi and save the fruit for something else. In this recipe, we are going to use the skin to infuse flavor and not the fruit. Make sure the inside of the skin has as little of pith as possible.
Once you finished peeling, empty the Everclear bottle into the Mason jar. I suggest saving the Everclear bottle to store the finished product. Like my first article on infusing alcohol, store the jar in a cool, dry place and gently shake the contents of the jar daily. After 4-5 days, the calamansilo is ready for the next step.
After the 4-5 day period ends, we are going to prep the other half of the calamansilo. Combine the water and sugar in a large pot or pan on medium heat. As you can see, 2 ½ cups of sugar is a lot. Make sure to stir the sugar while it is heating.
All the sugar should eventually dissolve, and the water should be clear again. Make sure to completely cool the solution before moving on to the next step.
Empty all the contents of the Mason jar into a large mixing bowl. Then mix the completely cooled solution into the same large mixing bowl. Remember to cover it with plastic wrap. The calamansilo and the sugar solution needs time to infuse. This time, 1 day is enough. Let all the contents infuse overnight.
After a night’s worth of infusing, the last steps are in order. Using a coffee filter and a mesh strainer, filter the contents of one mixing bowl into another.
The peels are not used anymore after this step. Remember to dispose of them. After the filter process, the calamansilo is completed!
The result is double the amount of liquid (and a bit more for taste-testing). This means less percentage of alcohol in each drink. That is the reason higher proof alcohol is recommended. Store the calamansilo in old alcohol bottles or clean Mason jars. Calamansilo is best served chilled. Chill the calamansilo in the refrigerator and not in the freezer.
Always remember to drink responsibly. Mabuhay.