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Jack - it's a long process. I know people who make limoncello in a couple of weeks. A lot of recipes you find online say to soak the lemon peel for 2 weeks or whatever, but I have been making limoncello for years and I think like any good liquor, it gets better with age.

 

I start with about 20 unwaxed lemons per half gallon of Everclear. Taking a veggie peeler, peel off just the zest of the lemons in long thin strips. Do not get any of the white pith - just the yellow zest. I've gotten pretty good at doing it, and having a very sharp peeler helps. YOu can also zest the lemons with a microplane type grater, but that takes longer, IMO. 

 

(I juice the lemons at this point and freeze the juice).

 

Put the peels in the bottom of a half-gallon bottle, pour over the Everclear, and let it sit in the back of the pantry for at least 2 months. The peels will become completely white and brittle and the liquor will become a pale, vibrant yellow (I'll post pics when I get there). 

 

At that point, strain out the peels, and cut the lemon infused liquor with simple syrup. Most recipes call for half and half, I do more of a 60/40 mix to cut the sharpness of the liquor. I also add a little of the lemon juice back into each bottle to really boost the lemon flavor. Maybe 1/2 cup per 1/2 gallon? About that.

 

When you add the syrup, the mixture becomes this gorgeous cloudy pale yellow color. Put it back into the pantry for another 3-4 months. Taste it periodically and see what you think. You can always adjust the sweetness or add more lemon juice as you go along.

 

When you think it's just right, decant it into gift bottles, seal the tops with wax, and give as gifts. I keep my used scotch bottles (the good ones with the corks) and use them to gift. They're pretty shapes and clean up nicely. 

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@ske1eter - Limoncello is an Italian drink used as both an apertif and a digestif. (pre dinner drink and after dinner drink).  You can sip it as a standalone drink (chilled) or you can use it as a mixer to make lemon martinis or other delicious cocktails. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limoncello

Edited by karacooks

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As a degreed Chemical Engineer I will state for the record that Everclear makes everything better! The only thing better is some corn squeezin's I used to make back in the day. Just as sweet as a kiss from my lovely daughter!

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Thanks for the information Kara. I had never heard of Limoncello before now. It's got my interest, but I don't know if I'd have the patience to wait out 6 months or so till it's done. God bless you. You have some very fortunate friends who will receive a gift made with love.

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I have a batch of homemade Limoncello steeping right now.   Good stuff as one can adjust sweetness and alcohol content of the final products to  personal tastes.  A word of advice,  make twice as much as you think you want to have as it goes down really easy! 

 

BTW, for nice jars and bottles to do this type thing or for other purposes like fermenting vegetables, I buy these from www.everythingkitchens.com  (if your order can qualify for free shipping  this is the cheapest place on the web to get these jars/bottles as shipping is a big cost on bottles).

 

These are very heavy jars/bottles with excellent sealing lids and the lids/gaskets can be completely removed for cleaning.  Replacement gaskets are also available.

 

They are available in a variety of sizes, I list a couple as examples  - search for Bormioli):

 

Bormioli Rocco Large Glass Fido Canning Jar - 4 Liter     ( http://www.everythingkitchens.com/bormioli-rocco-fido-jar-149260m02321991.html )

 

Bormioli Rocco Swing Top Glass Bottle - 17 oz   ( http://www.everythingkitchens.com/bormioli-rocco-swing-top-bottle-314740mbb321990.html )

 

And this is one of the best funnels I have used - very  handy

 

    Cuisipro 3-in-1 Funnel    ( http://www.everythingkitchens.com/cuisipro-3-in-1-funnel-747152.html )

 

 

 

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