Limoncello – and a fine spring cocktail

LimoncelloGlassNicebfLOI had made a batch of limoncello over the holidays as a part of our gift baskets that was pretty well received, but that I thought still needed some work. I was also in need of a good way to serve it.

Then, I saw Debi Mazar make this wicked cool spritzer with limoncello, fresh raspberries, and prosecco that looked really good – well, except for the raspberries, can’t stand the stuff.

Hmmm. Strawberries might could do.

01LemonsbfLOThen, some really good friends went and got themselves pregnant, which was perfect, because they let me help out with the food for their baby shower, which meant we would need a light and refreshing cocktail, which meant I had a good excuse to make another batch of limoncello…

02VodkaLemonPeelJarbfLOSo here we are.

The party has come and gone, and everyone seemed to like the food and the cocktail, so I thought I’d take this week to post the recipes, starting with the limoncello.

•16 lemons (or so – I think I had 15)
•1.75L good vodka
(don’t go crazy, but don’t go cheap, either)
•2 cups sugar
•3-1/2 cup water

06SugarSyrupbfLORemove the peel from the lemons with a vegetable peeler, then remove as much of the white pith from the peel as you can. Save the lemons for another purpose – I sliced mine and tossed ’em in a bag in the back of the fridge to toss down the garbage disposal as needed.

Add the lemon peel to a large pitcher or container and pour the vodka over. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest at room temperature for a week.

08aVodkaPeelSugarSyrupbfLOCombine the sugar and the water in a large pot and stir over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved – about 5 minutes.

Allow the sugar water mixture to cool completely.

Add the sugar syrup to the vodka and lemon mixture, then cover again with plastic, and let rest at room temperature overnight. You may note that I moved to a larger container for this part.

10LimonceloBottlesbfLOThe next day, strain out the lemon peels and transfer your limoncello to appropriate containers – I ended up with two and a slightly heavy-half  bottles.

I found these at World Market for about $6 each, but Container Store and Crate and Barrel carry them as well.

Stash your limoncello in the back of the fridge for another week to mellow, and you are good to go!

StrawberriesBlenderbfLO2 weeks may seem like a lot of waiting for a sparkly cocktail, but this limoncello spritzer is really quite nice.

•3 lbs. strawberries

StrawberryIceCubesbfLOThe day before (hey – you’ve already waited 2 weeks for the limoncello), clean the strawberries and pop them into your blender. Give ’em a good whizz, stirring if needed, until you have a nice strawberry pulp.

Pour the pulp into cute (ideally – but I hadn’t planned quite that far ahead) ice cube trays – at least 3 for this amount of berries. I overfilled my not-so-cute-but-here-when-I-needed-them trays.

Freeze until firm, then pop out of the trays and stash in a freezer bag until needed.

LimoncelloGlasseCloseUpbfLOAll-righty then, let’s make us a sparkly cocktail! For about 28 people, we had planned 4 bottles of prosecco, the 2-1/2 bottles of limoncello, and one strawberry ice cube per drink (but these were large cubes – you may want to adjust depending on the size of whatever cute trays you find.

Place a strawberry cube in a glass, then add a nice splash of limoncello.

Top off with prosecco, and you are more than good to go – though, for the record, the mom-to-be had her strawberry ice cube with some ginger ale. Still nice, but I liked the limoncello and prosecco version better.


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2 Responses to Limoncello – and a fine spring cocktail

  1. Betsy Jereb says:

    I don’t know if you remember me . . . I am Betsy, the wife of Jon, your barber.

    OMG . . . I have been all over your website, and am drooling!!! I am so in awe of what you do, how you do it, the passion you have!

    Thank you for “making my day” . . .

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