I started making this liqueur when my calamondin tree was still heavy with fruit, even after harvesting pounds of the tart, tiny globes for Calamondin Marmalade. I searched high and low for recipes using this virtually unknown fruit and finally came up with one from Helen Dresback of Homosassa. Her recipe was originally published in the on-line version of Florida’s St. Petersburg Times. I have adapted her version to fill a 2-quart (64-ounce) jar.
The colorful conconction sat on my kitchen counter for a month while the fruit fermented and infused the alcohol with citrus. I shared it with some friends who likened it to nectar from the gods.
Like most liqueurs, this one is quite sweet, even with the bitter, sharp flavors from the calamondins. It’s wonderful in small doses, straight up or over ice. It also makes a fantastic vodka Martini if you substitute the calamonidin liqueur for vermouth.
2 1/2 cups vodka
3 cups sugar
Wash calamondins, cut in half and remove seeds. Put vodka and sugar in 2-quart jar with a tight lid. Shake or stir thoroughly. Add calamondins; cover tightly. Set on kitchen counter.
Every day for 30 days, invert jar. One day, turn right side up; next day, turn upside down. Strain; put in bottle with top; refrigerate.