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What Is Whiskey Marmalade?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 17, 2024
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Whiskey marmalade is a type of preservative in which citrus fruit and whiskey are the primary ingredients. Oranges are boiled until soft and separated into pulp and rind. This sugary substance is blended together with sugar and whiskey, and cooked until firm. The flavor is similar to traditional orange marmalade, but carries subtle notes of wood smoke and alcohol that are deep and heady.

Whiskey is an alcoholic beverage made from grain mash that has been fermented. Barley or grain may be used as the base ingredient, and each produces a different flavor in the alcohol. The whiskey is aged in wooden barrels to add flavor and depth to the beverage. Some whiskeys are blended from different barrels prior to bottling to achieve a particular flavor, while other, often more expensive, whiskeys are bottled from only one cask. Any type or brand of whiskey may be used to make whiskey marmalade, and bourbon or scotch may be substituted for this key ingredient depending on the taste preferences of the cook.

The term marmalade can be applied to any fruit preservatives in which citrus forms the primary base ingredient. Both the pulp and the peel are traditionally used in this type of recipe, and they are boiled together with water and sugar. Very sweet orange varieties, such as mandarin and Seville, are often used when making marmalade to create a rich and robust flavor. Most marmalades are made using oranges, however, lemons, limes, and grapefruits may also be used, as well as mixed together to create new flavored varieties.

The ingredient of whiskey may be added to any marmalade recipe towards the end of the cooking process to create whiskey marmalade. Different versions of this recipe may be found on the Internet and in cookbooks that are specifically tailored to enhancing the flavor of the alcohol. The resultant flavor of the preservatives is both crisp and slightly bitter with an aftertaste hint of smoke, grain mash, and wood.

The pulp and rind of the oranges are initially boiled in water to make them soft enough to scoop and slice. The pulp is later pushed through a strainer to capture the flavor and sugar without the stringy skin. This mash can be combined with sugar and the sliced rind and cooked until all ingredients begin to stiffen. The whiskey, or alcohol of choice, may then be stirred into the cooking pot before all ingredients are poured into storage jars. Whiskey marmalade may be served with butter over muffins or toast, and pairs well with a mid-afternoon mint julep.

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