Eric's Beer Blog

My online journal for beer (and other drinks) tasting, brewing, tourism, and general musings.

My Photo
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Homemade Limoncello

A few weeks ago, I saw a recipe in the paper for homemade limoncello. I don't think than anyone who knows me would be surprised that I immediately began planning to make my own batch!

I was very curious to see how it would compare to the limoncello we had in Campania and elsewhere in southern Italy last year (where limoncello was invented), and also to the limoncello I've had at a fine local restaurant which makes its own. (The picture at the top is from a wonderful restaurant in Basilicata, Italy, in the town of Aliano-- I asked for some limoncello after lunch, and they brought me the whole bottle!)

The recipe is pretty simple. Start with 2 pounds of lemons (I used organic lemons).
Zest the lemons (phew!).
(We used the leftover lemons to make a big batch of lemonade. Yum!)

Soak the zest in a quart of vodka for at least 3-5 days, stirring frequently.

I used 2 kinds of Minnesota-made vodka. Mostly this one, which is new and happens to be organic!
And a bit of this one, after I ran out of the other one...
I steeped for about 10 days, after which I was sick of waiting. Next time I might try to do it longer.... It says the zest should turn white when all of its flavor has been extracted-- mine never did....

Strain out the zest. Meanwhile, add 2 1/2 cups of sugar to 6 cups of water and heat over low heat till dissolved and clear. I used slightly less than 2.5 cups of organic sugar. Next time I think I will use even less.

Once simple syrup is at room temp., mix with vodka. Strain through coffee filters and bottle. Chill. The recipe says to strain through "several changes of coffee filters," but I just did it once. Again, I'm impatient. It's pretty clear but could be clearer....

I made up some labels, got some nice bottles at the local homebrew store, and voila!

Limoncello, a.k.a. grown-up lemonade. It has a lovely pale yellow color, a nice lemon aroma, and a delightful taste. It's a bit sweet for me, but I think it's right about the same as the "real" stuff we had in Italy. I just might prefer a bit more lemony pucker.


Blogger jon said...

Looks yummy!

3:03 PM  
Blogger leigh said...

what a neat idea . . .i just put it next on my list of things to try!

12:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home