(what someone blurts out when they get a bottle of homemade limoncello as a present for Christmas)
Have you had limoncello before? Oh man, it's good! If you've never had it, it's a sweet Italian lemon liqueur that comes from the Amalfi coast and it's abso-fricking delightful. It's pretty much the nectar of the gods, if you ask me. I love adding it to sparkling water, drizzling it on top of vanilla ice cream, mixing it with cranberry juice or sipping it from a fancy cordial glass. Limoncello is heavenly when served directly from the freezer where it remains cold, syrupy and viscous. Think maple syrup but lemony & boozy!
If you're trying to figure out what to make for the holidays, might I suggest this? You need about 8 days from start to finish and it lasts up to 3 months in the freezer. The hardest part is giving it away! Now, tell me what are you waiting for! There are people to impress...
And we're off!
Gather your ingredients. Wash those lemons really well.
PEEL. Enlist some help. Casey peeled a few lemons. Good Casey.
Divide the peels between two jars or if you have a big container that will hold it all, go for it.
Pour the vodka on top of the peels in each jar.
Lid them up and let them sit for 2-7 days in a cool dark place.
I let mine sit a week. Now it's simple syrup time.
Sugar and water goes in a pot over medium high heat. The sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear.
Bam! Simple syrup. See that pitcher? We're about to make limoncello.
Now pour the infused vodka into the cooled simple syrup. STIR.
That pitcher goes in the fridge overnight.
And then the next day you're ready! It's straining time.
Pour the limoncello through a fine sieve.
After that first round, it's good to put it through a coffee filter so you can see right through it.
Now pour that limoncello into each bottle!
I filled three small bottles I got from Sur La Table the other day. (they're kinda pricey)
And one humongous bottle from IKEA.
Off to the freezer they go until I figure out who's getting some!
pssst! These are the labels I used!
(makes about 64 ounces)
(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 11 organic lemons
- 1 liter bottle vodka (Martha suggests 160-proof, I used 100)
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 cups water
Peel strips of zest from lemons using a vegetable peeler; reserve lemons for another use. Put zest and vodka in an airtight container; let stand at room temperature at least 2 days (or up to 1 week).
Stir together sugar and the water in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; let cool. Stir sugar mixture into vodka mixture; refrigerate in an airtight container 1 day.
Before serving, pour through a large sieve into a decanter or serving vessel; discard zest. Carefully bottle your limoncello and store freezer in the freezer for up to 3 months.
-Let's face it, you are going to have 11 lemons without peels on them leftover. If you don't have immediate plans like...let's say making lemon curd, you should do what I did and squeeze the juice and freeze it! You could also make some delicious lemonade too!