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Orange Liqueur Dehydration with Tapioca Maltodextrin

SolidLiquidsProjectSquareLogoIt's nice when other people do experiments for you. Reader Jonathan Faircloth started a blog called The Zymologic Table to record the trials and tribulations of making orange liqueur dust. 

Though it's not my experiment, this is a continuing part of the Solid Liquids project, in which I am searching for ways to dehydrate liqueurs and find creative uses for them. The index page of all the experiments is here

After a failed attempt at dehydration through standard means, Faircloth picked up some tapioca maltodextrin and used it to dehydrate a liqueur into a sugary form. After a few trials of his own, it worked. 

(Picture from The Zymologic Table)

He found that it worked at a 2:7 ratio of liqueur to tapioca maltodextrin. This might be a method to make dusts out of liqueurs and other alcohol to be used for rimming and other purposes when regular heat-based dehydrating doesn't work. (And as an added bonus, supposedly the alcohol is not removed in this method.)

As he was attempting to use an orange liqueur to rim a glass, he was dissappointed to find that when you do this, the orangeyness of orange liqueur goes away. So he added some orange zest into the tapioca malodextrin to get it back. 

(Picture from The Zymologic Table)

I have similarly found that the essential oils evaporate (they are very volatile even at room temperature after all) when you dehydrate with heat, and you can put them back with citrus zests. I even temporarily forgot about that and dehydrated nearly a bottle of Cointreau only to be reminded that orange liqueur when the orange goes away just tastes like sugar. Very expensive sugar. 

Looks like I'll be adding some orange zest back into the mix as well. 

Keep checking Faircloth's site for his further experiments. 

 The Solid Liquids Project index is at this link.



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So was there any difference between the re-oranged dehydrated Cointreau and a mix of plain sugar and orange zest? Sounds like there's no point to dehydrating Cointreau.

Camper English

I'd say you're right: for the money, there is no reason to dehydrate cointreau. other brands, perhaps.

Douglas Williams


Tapioca Maltodextrin is great stuff, very useful indeed but the ratios here are too much of it to keep any flavor. Because it bonds with fat, it is best used in making powder out of things that are very high in fat. Bacon powder, cream based things etc.

So the addition of a dairy would make this process work alot better. This is what I use to make the tequila caramel sea salt dust, which reconstitutes back into tequila caramel in your mouth. I am making a batch this week and will follow this up with some proportions as well. Also since I am heading up to SF and using this on Halloween I will drop a small amount off at Rye for you next time you are in!


ps also there are other things being used in europe to make low alcohol powders, and stearic acid in russia to make high alcohol waxes. The waxes would have to be flavored otherwise it would be like eating a high alcohol candle.

Ray Crowe

After trying with Cointreau a few years back and getting a pile of sugar, I tried it with an Italian Orangecello. The specific one escapes me but I remember it was very orange in color and it left a dust with a better leftover flavor and color.

Camper English

I know that some 'cellos use essential oils and coloring to boost flavor and impact, so maybe that's what was left over. If we were smart we'd just zest some oranges on a pile of sugar.


Well, I must be the only loser! I'll try again as yesterday was my first batch, into which I added gum, sorry, so far! I also used tiny amounts at 7:2, one half t = 1, plus food coloring, 🤔

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