Orange Marmalade with Whisky


Reader’s Digest FARMHOUSE COOKERY 1981

This is an old recipe from a book that used to be my mum’s.  It’s the oldest cookbook that I have and as such, is pretty well worn with a good few food splodges dotted about.  Thanks to the advent of the internet, the book doesn’t get used as much as it used to but I felt the need for something solid where real pages could be turned.


This recipe uses Seville oranges, a bitter orange from Seville in Spain but the recipe works just as well with ordinary oranges such as Navel and Jaffa.  If you want to use Seville oranges, now is the best time to do it.  They have a very short season and are generally only available in January in the UK.

stock photo of seville oranges
Seville Oranges

The original recipe uses only white sugar but I prefer a marmalade with a more intense flavour so I have replaced some of the white for a dark muscovado.  As for the whisky, well why not, it is for a wedding after all.  Marmalade with whisky is one of those marriages definitely made in heaven and a cry-out to my mum’s Scottish upbringing.


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  • 4kg of oranges
  • 5 litres of water
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2.5kg white sugar
  • 450g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150ml whisky



  • Scrub the oranges and cut them in half
  • Squeeze the juice and pips into a bowl
  • Cut up the peel into thick or thin strips according to preference
  • Put the peel, any soft pulp and the water in to a heavy-based pan. Strain in the juice.
  • Put the pips into a muslin bag and tie it to the pan handle so that it hangs well into the water.
  • Cook gently for approximately 2 hours or until the peel is tender
  • Lift out the bag of pips and squeeze between 2 spoons over the pan
  • Add the lemon and sugar, and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved
  • Bring to the boil, boiling rapidly until setting point is reached (video clip here)
  • Remove any scum and allow to cool for 8-10 minutes
  • Stir well to distribute the peel
  • Pot and seal

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