Boozy Chestnuts in Cointreau Syrup

Boozy Chestnuts in Cointreau Syrup

These boozy chestnuts in orange and Cointreau syrup are the perfect addition to festive desserts. Find out how to make them below.

Sweet chestnuts

I love chestnuts. They are one of my favourite ingredients and it’s heartbreaking that they are only in season for 3 short months of the year. In the UK they become available during October and are starting to dwindle as the year comes to an end. To make the chestnut season last a little bit longer I like to store mine in a sweet syrup spiked with alcohol.

Preserving food in syrup isn’t all that different to preserving food in a salty brine. Both the salt and the sugar draw moisture away from the perishable food stuff preventing the bad bugs from growing. So, by storing chestnuts in this boozy syrup, I’m able to keep a jar in my cupboard long after chestnuts have disappeared from my grocery store.

You could flavour your syrup with any alcohol you like. I chose Cointreau because the orange flavour adds another dimension to what would otherwise be a very sweet treat! I like to spoon the chestnuts and their syrup over a high quality vanilla ice cream but you could add them to any dessert you wanted. (They also taste great straight out of the jar…)

If you like the sound of these boozy chestnuts you will love my Drunken Cherries. 

The recipe

How to prepare chestnuts

You can make this recipe with “pre-“prepared chestnuts that come in a jar or a pouch. If you are buying them fresh you will need to remove them from their shells first. To do this, cut an “x” in one side of the nut using a sharp paring knife. You can then either roast them for 30 minutes (at at 200C / gas mark 6 / 400 F), or steam them over a pan of simmering water for 20 minutes. Let them cool before peeling so as not to burn your hands!


Boozy Chestnuts in Cointreau syrup spooned over ice cream

Boozy Chestnuts in Cointreau Syrup

These boozy chestnuts in Cointreau syrup are the perfect to treat to store over the winter months. Serve over 3 big scoops of vanilla ice cream for a festive treat.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert, Ingredient
Servings 2 500 millilitre jars


  • 2 x 500 millilitre jars



  • Sterilise your jars by washing them with hot, soapy water. Rinse (but don't dry) them before placing the jars into an oven for 10 minutes on a low temperature (160C/320F/gas mark 3) or until they are dry. 
  • Pack the chestnuts into the jars.
  • Add 100 millilitres of the orange juice, all the zest, the vanilla pod, all of the sugar and the Cointreau to a saucepan and place on a low heat.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the syrup to a simmer and let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes until it has a thicker, more syrupy consistency.
  • Pour the syrup over the chestnuts and seal the jars.
  • Leave them to cool until you hear the lids "pop" to confirm they have sealed tight.
  • Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
Keyword chesnuts, cointreau, light brown sugar, orange
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