Today, we delve slightly into the life of Colette. Although best known as the writer of Gigi, Cherie and the Claudine novels, she led an interesting and varied life and still carried in her heart the life she'd known as a country girl in Burgundy. As a child, she shared her first glass of wine with her father ( "reddish-brown Muscat de Frontignan, sent from his natal south of France") and as an adult, made her own. This is a little variation called Vin d'Orange, and I have been wanting to try it for years. As winter is fast approaching, I thought the time to make it was perfect, although I do hate the wait and may not be able to resist temptation.
"Into four litres of dry, golden Cavalaire wine, I pour one liter of good, honest Armagnac brandy, and my friends promptly cry out. 'What a massacre! Such a sterling brandy sacrificed to undrinkable ratafia!' While they are still howling, I drown four sliced oranges, a freshly picked lemon, a stick of silvery vanilla, and six hundred grams of sugar cane. All this goes into a potbellied glass jar, corked and sealed, to macerate for fifty days. Then all I have to do is filter and bottle the result. Is it good, you ask? Just come home at the end of a hard, late-winter afternoon lashed with rain and hail. You are shivering. You feel your forehead, you wipe your nose, you look at your tongue, and finally whimper, 'I don't know what's the matter with me...' I know what's the matter. You need a little glass of Vin d'Oranges." ... Colette