Orange (Citrus sinensis L)

Recreation of an old medicinal plants image

A distilled spirit made with oranges from Queensland, specifically the Citrus Sinensis L variety, will have a distinct citrusy flavour and aroma. Oranges are known for their high levels of limonene, a terpene that gives off a strong lemon-like scent and taste. In the Queensland oranges, limonene is the primary flavour molecule, making up between 93.2-94.9% of the orange’s essential oil.

The secondary flavour molecule found in Queensland oranges is β-myrcene, which contributes to the overall fruity and floral aroma of the distilled spirit. It is present in small amounts, between 2.6-3.1%. The α-pinene is present in very small amounts, between 0.6-1.0%.

When distilled, these flavour molecules interact to create a unique and complex flavour profile in the distilled spirit. The limonene will impart a strong citrusy lemon-like flavour and aroma, while the β-myrcene will add a fruity, floral note to the distilled spirit. The small amount of α-pinene will add a slight piney note to the distilled spirit.

It’s worth noting that the essential oil composition of oranges can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. For example, Brazilian oranges have a higher percentage of limonene compared to Queensland oranges, and Chinese oranges have a higher percentage of linalool, which imparts floral and woody notes. Italian oranges have a very similar composition to Queensland oranges, with limonene being the dominant flavour molecule and β-myrcene being the secondary flavour molecule.

Tasting Notes:

A distilled spirit distilled with oranges will have a bright and refreshing citrus aroma, with prominent notes of lemon and orange. On the palate, it will have a smooth and clean texture with a slight sweetness, followed by a burst of fresh orange flavour with a hint of lemon. The finish will be slightly dry with a lingering orange zest aftertaste. As a result, this distilled spirit can be enjoyed on its own, over ice, or as an ingredient in cocktails to add a citrusy twist. It can be paired with light and refreshing mixers such as tonic water, soda water, or cranberry juice. It can also be used to make classic cocktails such as martinis and cosmopolitans for a citrusy twist. Overall, the distilled spirit distilled with oranges is perfect for those who love fresh and fruity flavours.

Orange works fabulously in a gin as both a garnish and a botanical paired with juniper, coriander and nearly any spice you wish to distil with it.

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