Just in time for the holidays, I’ve made a few wee, tiny adjustments to my limoncello recipe, and I think, once you’ve tried it, it’s the best version yet!
Jon, the very nice gentleman who’s been cutting our hair for a while now, retired at the end of October, and I wanted to send him off with a big buzzyfoods bag of goodies; bacon jam, peach butter, plum sauce, and a nice batch of limoncello to enjoy of an evening with his wife and friends.
Only thing was, the market I bought the lemons at was having a bad day, and four of the twelve (normally) called for had gone bad when I began the process of turning plain vodka into a golden tinged citrus treat.
No worries! I added the skin of an orange to the mix, and, well, let’s get into the rest of the details and my kinda neat solution to being a tad light in the lemon…
•1.75 L good vodka (I used Skyy)
•1-1/2 cups sugar
•3-1/2 cups water
•1-1/2 tbsp frozen fresh lemon juice*
Wash, then remove the zest only (the yellow and orange bits – mostly – a bit of the pith isn’t going to kill the batch) from the fruit with a veggie peeler and place in a large container.
Pour the vodka over the citrus peel, give it all a stir, and let rest, covered, at room temperature for a week.
*Don’t waste the fruit! You can always eat the orange, but juice and strain the peeled lemon into an ice cube tray or two, then stash in the freezer. Once they’ve set, you can pop ’em out of the tray and into a zipper bag for easy access whenever a recipe (or four cup of tea) calles for a bit of fresh lemon juice. My silicone ice cube tray makes (approximately) 1-1/2 tablespoon cubes.
After your vodka and peels mixture has rested for a week, stir the sugar into the water in a pot over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is clear.
Here’s where I made up for my under-count of lemon peel: drop one of the lemon juice cubes into the sugar water and stir until melted.
Nice save, if I do say so myself.
Allow your simple syrup to cool, then pour into the jar with the vodka and citrus peel, give it all a stir, then cover and let rest for another two nights at room temperature.
Pour the now-limoncello through a sieve to strain out the peel, then bottle and store in the fridge until needed.
I had enough to fill a juice container, and, even after decanting some into a nice gift bottle for Jon, I had more than enough left over for our own holiday uses.
The limoncello is very nice over ice with a splash of soda, even better with a cube of frozen strawberry dropped in, then topped with prosecco (nice for a spring time brunch), and really pretty darned wonderful as a base for this white sangria – which I think you’ll find as refreshing on a hot summer’s day as you will while wrangling a turkey in the kitchen.
Stay tuned; details to come. Monday.