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The Great Limoncello Caper

Now with photos!  I am exceedingly pleased with the results!  After looking at a mind-numbing array of limoncello recipes online, I decided on the size and proportions of this recipe partly because I did not want to make quarts and quarts of the stuff in case it didn't turn out and partly because I don't really have that strong a sweet tooth.

Limoncello is a relatively new invention in the world of Italian liqueurs, its first appearance circa 1900.  Who thought of the sunny-colored drink first is contested, but probably some clever grandmother somewhere on the Amalfi Coast or in Sorrento deserves the prize.  Supposedly those lemons with a thick peel and strong perfume make the best limoncello.

Ingredients

500 mL very strong Vodka or grain alcohol
5 lemons (if you cannot get organic ones, be absolutely certain to wash the peel extremely well to get rid of pesticides and wax.)
2 1/2 c filtered or distilled water
1 1/2 c sugar

Preparation

After washing the lemons, use a nice sharp vegetable peeler to take off just the zest, the colored part of the peel.  The white pith will make the limoncello bitter.  Combine the zest and the vodka is a large glass (never metal) container with an airtight lid.  I found a perfect iced tea jug at Target a few years ago.  Keep the vodka mixture in a cool, dark place away from strong odors for at least two weeks.  (I left mine for two and a half.)  Anything less will not result in a full-bodied lemon flavor.  Shake the container every day or so.


When the lemon zest is done macerating, prepare the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil.  All the sugar should dissolve easily.  Let cool completely.

 
Add the syrup to the vodka mixture.  Strain through a fine mesh or cheesecloth.  Put in bottles and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

 

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
glastonburyrain
May. 6th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
This looks great!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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