I have fond memories of sipping homemade Limoncello at the home of some dear friends in Rome two summers ago. Crisp, sweet and refreshing. I was intrigued that she’d made it herself.
So when a dear friend, here in California, gave me a large bag of organic lemons off her tree, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try making my own.
An online search found several recipes. I combined several and this is what I came up with. I used more lemons than all the recipes called for because organic lemons have thinner rinds.
15 organic lemons
1-liter bottle of Vodka
2 1/2 cups organic sugar
3 1/2 cups water
Wash the lemons thoroughly.
Carefully grate just the outer rind with a fine-gauge grater. The white part underneath will make it bitter.
Place peels in a 2-quart container and cover with Vodka
Cover tightly and leave in a cool dark place to steep for 40 days.
Stir the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat for 15 minutes, until sugar is totally dissolved.
Cool completely and add to the Vodka mixture.
Test a sip several times while adding, to get the sweetness you want.
Store in a cool dark place for another 15 days.
Strain the Limoncello through a fine-mesh strainer and then a second time through unbleached coffee filters.
Discard peels and transfer Limoncello to bottles with tight-fitting corks.
Store in refrigerator or freezer and serve ice cold.
The key to testing your Limoncello formula is to sip very small tastes until you get the Vodka, sugar mixture to your liking. If you sip too much…you get smashed it’s a party!
Hubs came in while I was up to my elbows straining the mixture. He proclaimed it San Francisco moonshine and thought it was probably less expensive to just buy the imported Limoncello made in Italy. Spoiled sport. He could be right, but it is all about creating for me and I like that it is organic. Of course, the Vodka isn’t…but I’m not worried about that part. It was fun and they’ll make lovely hostess gifts this summer with a yellow ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle.