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How to Make Orange Liqueur Using Our Rum 44

At our Burlington Tasting Room, we not only serve tastings of our craft spirits, we serve a variety of craft cocktails featuring them. Each month, we experiment with new cocktail riffs—using infusions, bitters, syrups, and liqueurs—so that we can offer new cocktail options on our menu. Recently, we decided to make our very own orange liqueur to utilize through Mai Tai and Margarita season. We’ll be using our house-made orange liqueur at the Burlington Tasting Room for some of our cocktails, but we wanted to share our recipe and process with you here so that you can make your own orange liqueur at home using our Rum 44.

Orange Curaçao, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Gran Gala and Triple Sec are all orange liqueurs you’ve probably heard of before. There are differences between these options. Some can be enjoyed alone over ice, while some are best mixed. Some are a little bitter, while some are more sweet. However, they are all made using oranges. 

Orange liqueur is a popular component in a variety of drinks, including Mai Tai’s and margaritas, but it is also found in a Cosmopolitan, El Presidente, Sidecar, Long Island Ice Tea and in some martinis. So, if you’re into making cocktails at home, it’s definitely a useful liqueur to have in your home bar. If it isn’t easy to find at your local store, the good news is that it’s fairly easy to make. Get started by following our recipe below.


-20 ounces of Rum 44 (or First Run Rum)
-20 grams of dried orange peels
-2 oranges worth of fresh peels
-6 ounces of simple syrup

We sourced our dried orange peels from the Railyard Apothecary in Vermont. For the fresh orange peel, it is important that the oranges are first washed very well. Any residue on the oranges will be imparted in the flavor of the liqueur, so you want to start with a clean fruit. For the fresh peel, get as much of the outsize zest as possible and try to avoid the inner white pith. 

Once you have your dried and fresh orange peels, combine them with 20 ounces of Rum 44 in a large mason jar. Shake, then let the spirit sit for a minimum of 2 weeks (we recommend aging the peels in rum for 4 weeks). Next, strain the rum through a cheesecloth. After straining, you will combine the orange-infused Rum 44 with 6 ounces of simple syrup to create the liqueur. If you want a sweeter liqueur to use in margaritas or cosmopolitans, you just add more simple syrup. 

Now that you have your very own orange liqueur, it’s time to make some cocktails! Here are a few Mad River Distillers recipes to try:


Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
- 1 oz. of Mad River Distilers Vanilla Rum
- 3/4 oz. of orange liqueur
- 3/4 oz. of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz. of Orgeat
- 1/4 oz. of  Simple Syrup (optional depending on sweetness level desired)
- 1 oz. of Mad River Distillers Maple Cask Rum (to float)

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake without ice. Pour contents over crushed ice into a rocks glass. Top with 1 ounce of Maple Cask Rum. Garnish with a large sprig of Mint.


- 1.5 oz. of Mad River Distillers First Run Rum
- 1.5 oz. of fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 oz. of orange liqueur
- 1 oz. of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz. of Orgeat
- Mexican citrus seasoning
- Orange slice

Prep your glass by dipping the rim of the glass in lime juice, then in the Mexican citrus seasoning (we used La Anita Clasico Seasoning). Set the glass aside. In a shaker, add the First Run Rum, orange juice, lime juice, Orange Curacao and Orgeat syrup. Add ice to the shaker, and shake for about 30 seconds. Add ice to your glass. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Take the slice of orange and dip it into the Mexican citrus seasoning. As a garnish, add the spiced orange wedge to the rim of your glass.

Bananas Foster cocktail on the tasting room bar


Ingredients - Yields 1 Cocktail
- 1.5 oz. of Mad River Distillers First Run Rum
- 1 oz. of Tempus Fugit Crème de Banane
- 1/2 oz. of Orgeat 
- 1/2 oz. of orange liqueur
- 12 drops of Crude “X” Bitters (shitake-sesame-banana)
- 6 drops of Bittermens Tiki Bitters

In a shaker, combine all ingredients. Add ice, then shake. Double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a dried banana chip.

Are you ready to make your own orange liqueur? To find a bottle of our Rum 44, stop into one of our Tasting Rooms. You can also find a bottle near you by visiting our website. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Railyard Apothecary for the dried orange peels. They’re also a great place to find herbs, and a variety of other items. If you need any other cocktail supplies, our retail section at the Burlington Tasting Room is always stocked up. Cheers!

Written and published by Brianne Lucas on June 6, 2023.

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