"You'll never know if you don't go, you'll never shine if you don't glow…"

by Katie Pizzuto on August 27, 2009

in cocktails

oranjitoIntroducing, for your “summer’s slippin’ away” sipping pleasure, my latest elixir concoction, the Oranjito. I recently received a bottle of a vanilla liqueur called Navan that’s put out by the folks at Grand Marnier, and with that bottle came a few cocktail recipes. But I’ve always kinda been recipe-ADD, so I went off to create something of my own, instead. Navan is made from Madagascar vanilla beans that are first macerated in neutral spirit for a few weeks, then combined with aged French cognac. What results is, I assure you, liquid gold.

Before heading into the lab…err, I mean kitchen…I took a couple of days to test drive the liqueur on its own, be it on the rocks or neat. Either way, the essence of vanilla bean was amazing—no faux flavor bullshit at ALL. Much like its daddy, Grand Marnier, I’m guessing it would be great in a high-octane coffee, too, not to mention using it in dessert reductions, to macerate fruit…whatever. How about a little in your BBQ sauce, hmm? Divine. Anyhow, what it all came down to was using it in a cocktail in a way that the vanilla would complement the other ingredients without overwhelming them, particularly because of its alcohol level.

So I went out to the garden and clipped some orange mint, being somewhat inspired by the many mojitos I’ve had over the years. Instead of plain rum, I used Bacardi O to double up on my oranginess…yes that’s a word, damn it…and instead of using lime as my citrus, I used (can you guess where I’m going here?) orange. To all this, I added some Navan and a little simple syrup to sweeten the pot. Everything got shaken—as is appropriate for a mojito, not a martini—strained into a chilled glass, and topped with a splash of seltzer. The result? Orangy, vanilla-y, minty goodness in all its adult beverage glory. Friday nights just got better.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mark August 27, 2009

Three flavors that sound like they could be great together.
I love to drink 007’s in the summertime, I have to try this.


2 RJ Flamingo August 27, 2009

This is *gorgeous*! and sounds incredibly delicious, too. I have never heard of orange mint, though… I will have to start looking for seeds. Anyway, We love Grand Marnier – I can’t imagine not loving anything they make!


3 Katie Pizzuto August 28, 2009

Never had a 007, Mark…what’s in it? Please come back and tell me. Summertime’s coming to its sad end!

I actually bought the orange mint as a baby plant, FYI. Like most mints, it grows like wildfire, though it’s more of a creeper 🙂


4 Jennifer August 28, 2009

And, here I was taking the innocent route toward tea with my orange mint leaves. I had it all wrong…


5 Katie Pizzuto August 28, 2009

LOL, that’s OK, Jen, there’s always time to come back from the dark side.


6 Trish August 28, 2009

Holy crap that sounds delicious. I have GOT to try this.


7 The Wine Commonsewer August 28, 2009

oranginess…yes that’s a word, damn it

Yes it is and nothing rhymes with that word, neither.


8 Katie Pizzuto August 28, 2009

That’s the funniest fucking thing I’ve read in a while, Mike (my blog excluded of course, LOL)…thanks!


9 Mark August 28, 2009

I’m back…. to explain one of my fav summer drinks.

a 007 is a simple drink

Ice in a rock glass,

-Orange Vodka, 2 oz is what I recommend
-Orange Juice, use “good” orange juice and only a splash
I like to go very light on the juice, you decide for yourself.
-fill with 7-Up

It’s lighter than a screwdriver, has some fizz to brighten it up…. it’s like drinking a summer day. I hope you like it.


10 Linsey August 29, 2009

I will have the 008 – no vodka lol


11 KAHUNA August 31, 2009

Sounds great- I love vanilla flavored boozes- Womder how it would be with some Campari- I have been on that kick for a while now-
I will be forced to make this- sucks to be me-lol


12 Katie Pizzuto August 31, 2009

Thanks Mark! Will give it a go this weekend, though given my poo-pooing of vodka, I’ll probably substitute with orange-flavored rum.

@Kahuna…this is so much better than much of the faux-Vanilla flavored stuff out there…you’ll love it. Would probably be great with Campari and maybe a splash of seltzer or such. Go make, and report in!!


13 castello August 31, 2009

I’m not waiting for Fry-night. Maybe a little sweet for us macho men. Can I use lime juice?


14 Katie Pizzuto August 31, 2009

NO NO NO lime juice!!! I had a gut feeling it wouldn’t pair well with the vanilla, and after speaking to a mixologist that works with Navan creating recipes, my palate was right on the money…she dicourages using lime with Navan. So there 😉


15 castello August 31, 2009

Thanks. Can we go back to talking about meaty bacon.


16 Linsey August 31, 2009

lol 🙂


17 castello August 31, 2009

Linsey, where do you get bacon like the one you showed?


18 Linsey August 31, 2009

check out the previous blog – i gave you an answer castello


19 castello August 31, 2009

thanks! I’ll see if I can get some back bacon around here(silicon valley).


20 Linsey August 31, 2009

possible the back bacon u get there might be in a thick joint – u would just need to slice it thin – or have the butcher do it for u

good luck anyways


21 Linsey August 31, 2009

Castello – i had a look on amazon.com to see if there was anything there that looked like brit bacon – the closest i could see without knowing what it tastes like was the canadian bacon

maybe that is ur best chance – order it in


hope that helps


22 castello August 31, 2009

Yes, we can get some good Canadian style bacon here in the states but it’s not like what you described. It is like smoked ham but from the loin. Not very tender and not fatty at all. I love it but not like some I’ve had downunder.
Thanks a bunch. You can email me at edwest_@yahoo.com


23 Linsey August 31, 2009

im having some problems with email at the moment – dont know why

i tried to email u but it was sent right back


try this site though


24 castello August 31, 2009

thanks! That looks like a deal.


25 Linsey September 1, 2009

I finished off the chocolate cream liquer that I bought last year with Anthony in Stratford. Been in my fridge for ahem …. long time.

Only alcohol i really ever drank on purpose lol.

You would have loved the place we got it from though Katie – barrels of whiskys, oils and liquers – ready for tasters, then put in special bottles for you.


26 Katie Pizzuto September 1, 2009

So I hear! I would spend a small fortune in a place like that!


27 Linsey September 1, 2009

maybe a fact finding/tourist trip to the uk wouldnt be a bad idea lol


28 Katie Pizzuto September 1, 2009

Sure, now if only I can get funding for my “research & development”.


29 Linsey September 2, 2009

lol – yeah know that feeling – still paying off the fact finding missions to usa


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