One of my favorite parts of an Italian dinner is a little sip of Limoncello after the meal. I’ve also been known to drink more than that and lived to regret it – it’s simply too sweet, and often too strong, for more than a digestive following the meal.There isn’t any magical recipe for limoncello – a simple online search will give you all choices of liquors to use and ratios of simple syrup (sugar water) to alcohol. I usually make mine with grain alcohol but the liquor store was sold out so I opted for vodka. The first step is to peel all of the lemons then soak them at room temp in the liquor for about a week or two until the essential oils (flavor) are leached from the peels into the liquor. Grain alcohol, I found, does a better job of this than the vodka did, as the peels remained a faint yellow after soaking in the vodka.Because the recipe takes alot of lemons, I didn’t want to waste all that fresh juice so I squeezed them all and froze the juice in ice cube trays for later use in recipes.After the soaking period, you drain the peels and discard them to mix the now yellow-colored alcohol with the simple syrup. Then just bottle the limoncello into clean decorative bottles (I save all of the pretty ones that come with special vinegars and oils) and refrigerate before serving. Buon Appetito!
- 2 750 ml bottles of vodka, or two small bottles of grain alcohol
- 12 lemons, peeled
- 6 cups water
- 3-4 cups sugar (use less if you don’t want it too sweet)
- Combine lemon peels and vodka or grain alcohol in a glass jar and cover. Store at room temperature for 1-2 weeks until the alcohol has leached all of the color from the peels. Discard peels. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely then combine with lemon flavored alcohol. Pour into clean glass bottles and cork to store. Serve refrigerated.