And now for something completely different – limoncello. Limoncello is a sweet lemon flavoured Italian liqueur.
During my 2010 travels overseas, I went to a restaurant called La Tagliata which is located in a small town called Montepertuso (above Positano) along the Amalfi Coast. This is where I had my first sip of limoncello. Loved it! Couldn’t get enough of it.
After lunch our party of four went to Sorrento. Sorrento is well known for its production of limoncello so everywhere we went, there it was.
Anyways, the point of this story is that I have always wanted to make limoncello since that trip. Up until recently I thought that making limoncello was going to be a task and a half. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to find out how easy it is to make my own limoncello! And the best thing is that I’ve read that meyer lemons are the best lemons to use – which I have plenty of!
How easy is it to make limoncello? The peels (without the pith), is steeped in a spirit until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup. Too easy!
The recipe below states to store your mixture in a dark place for a week. I stored my mixture in a dark place for 4 weeks. I wanted the flavours from the peel to really infuse into the liquid.
10 – 12 organic lemons
1 750ml bottle of vodka or high-proof spirit (an ethanol content of 28-32% is considered optimal)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1) Using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife peel the lemons. Because you are getting the flavor from the peels, opt for organic produce, if you can. And make sure you wash them thoroughly.
2) Remove as much of the white pith from the peels as possible. Too much pith will make your limoncello bitter.
3) Combine the lemon peels and vodka in a clean, dry glass container with a tight-sealing lid. Store the container in a cool dark place for at least a week.
The spirit I used was vodka. The brand – Vodka O. This vodka is three times distilled from fresh seasonal whey and carbon filtered using pure Australian water.
This is actually the world’s first completely organic vodka!
4) Every 2 days, shake the jar to agitate the peels, and make sure they are releasing flavor into the vodka.
5) After at least 1 week, strain the peels out of the vodka.
6) Make simple syrup with the 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water. Start by bringing your water to a boil in a small saucepan.
Once it’s boiling pour in your sugar, and stir until all the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Remove from heat and let cool.
7) Combine the strained lemon vodka and simple syrup, and pour into clean, dry glass bottles.
8) Store in the freezer. Serve chilled. The high alcohol content is one of the reasons why limoncello can be kept in the freezer without turning to ice. The limoncello can be kept in the freezer for at least a year.
I had a sip of the limoncello before I put the bottle in the freezer. It was smooth and sweet.
Note: Because you only need the lemon peel to make limoncello, what do you do with the rest of the lemon? I put the juice into ice cube trays.
So in a nutshell, all you need is lemons, a bottle of vodka, sugar, water and patience.
“When life gives you lemons, grab some vodka and make limoncello!”