Limoncello is so yummy. I had Limoncello in Italy for the first time and fell in love with the simple sweet flavor. I do love all things lemon (right after chocolate) Making my own limoncello was first for me, and I think I like it. I am sure I will do it again, and would love to find other fruits that could infuse Vodka. I basically followed America’s Test Kitchen recipe, but added a little lemon peel in every bottle. Luckily there was just enough left that I got a little shot. I think I could drink this.
I have a little thumb peeler, that made it simple to peel the lemons without getting any of the pith. It still took a while to peel that many lemons. Put on a good cooking show to pass the time.
How to Make Limoncello
America’s Test Kitchen This tart, sweet, ultra-lemony liqueur tastes like Italy in a bottle.
Limoncello’s bright lemony flavor (and iridescent color) is achieved by extracting the flavorful oils from the peels of a couple pounds of lemons. Since you also end up extracting anything else that might be on the peel, I always start with organic lemons to avoid pesticides. Conventional lemons work fine; just make sure to scrub and clean them very well. I use a full 2 pounds of lemons (size of lemons can really vary so weight is more reliable than count) to ensure maximum lemon flavor.
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel in wide strips from the lemons.
Then remove any white bitter pith from the zest strips using a sharp paring knife. They don’t have to be 100 percent pith free, but try to get off as much as you can. Then put them in a non-reactive container, like a glass or ceramic bowl with at least a 3 1/2-cup capacity (I’ve used oven-to-table cookware many times). My finger peeler did a great job of peeling without any pith and it was so much faster.
Pour a 750-ml bottle of 100-proof vodka over the peels.
Cover the container and stash it in a cool, dark place. I kept mine for three weeks in the pantry and it is wonderful. Next time I might try a little longer.
Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl or measuring cup. Then press on the peels to extract as much liquid and flavor as possible. I let mine sit for quite a while before trying to push through the last little bit)
I went to another recipe here and added four cups of sugar to five cups of water bringing it to right below a boil making sure a had a good simple sugar.
Think I just described this step above, but they had a nice photo
Add the simple syrup to the bowl with the infusion, then swirl to combine (it might look a little cloudy when you do this).
Transfer the limoncello to bottle. I held a very fine small mesh strainer on top of a funnel to make sure I got any residue from the lemon. After about five days, transfer to your freezer. If your freezer is very cold, it might partially freeze, in which case you can transfer the bottle to the fridge, or just let the bottle sit out to thaw for a few minutes before serving.
I’ll drink to that!