Limoncello in the Middle

LemonsSwirlVertNarrowbfLOThis one’s tricky.

I’ve never made it before, and it’s still a touch on the young side to get an accurate taste, and, even when it is ready, I’m not certain it’s something I would particularly care for.


Oh well, in a world of predictable results, it is sometimes a good thing to skate on the edge of (literal) good taste.

Besides, I have some pretty cool pictures it’d be a shame to waste; AND, if you want to try to have any of this on hand to give or (possibly) enjoy at the holidays – you need to get yourself together and start brewing!

First, for those who are unfamiliar with it, limoncello is a popular Italian lemon liqueur (just read the link).

Second, remember back when everyone was making home-made Kahlua? Well, this is a lot like that. I got the idea after a conversation with our barber earlier this year – a restaurant he and his wife frequent has been known to offer an ice-cold bottle of their own limoncello for favored diners to enjoy.

What could be better to add to a gift basket?

As (almost) always, I looked to da Google for guidance and advice, and; when I couldn’t find one, perfect recipe (meaning one that suited my idea of how to go about the whole thing and how much time would be required); I decided to combine two recipes, adjusted the quantities to fit my fruit bowl and vodka supply, and began.

Now, a week into the process, here we are. Might could be tasty. Might could be kinda wretched. Only another week (and that in the fridge or freezer) will tell.

I did try a sip over ice last night, and it wasn’t… terrible. But then, I am no judge – I prefer my ice-cold vodka with just a slice of lemon, three nice olives, or a like amount of good gin added to it – the shadow of a xerox of a vermouth bottle waved somewhere nearby. We’ll see what Rich thinks later this week and I’ll post an update.

LemonsBowlbfLOUntil then? Well, let’s start skatin’!

•16 lemons
•1.75 litre vodka – don’t go super cheap – use a vodka you would enjoy drinking – I opted for Svedka, even though I hate their commercials on the TeeVee
VodkaPourOverLemonbfLO•3 cups sugar
•4 cups water

Use a vegetable peeler to remove long strips of peel from the lemons (like when making lemonade). OK, that’s it for the lemons, juice them for another purpose (if you’re good), or just really clean and refresh you garbage disposal (if you’re not). I was not.

Place the peels in the bottom of a large pitcher or glass jar and pour the vodka over.

LimonceloBottleVertFrameLOCover loosely and let sit at room temperature for a week.

Combine the sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Do not stir.

Boil for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Stir the cooled sugar syrup into the vodka mixture, cover loosely again, and allow to sit at room temperature overnight.

The next day, strain the mixture into sealable bottles – I found some cool ones at The Container Store for around $4 a pop – but have seen them at Sur la Table and Crate and Barrel as well, so look around.

I ended up with four of these medium sized bottles, plus a pint and a smidge left over – ermmm, for tasting and quality control, no doubt.

Stash the bottles in the fridge for at least a week (2 would be more better) to mellow.

Serve icy cold in chilled vodka glasses and, I hope, enjoy.

We’ll know in a week…

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