How to Make Limoncello
Remember with Danny DeVito was accused of being drunk on The View? It’s because he (supposedly) was drinking limoncello with George Clooney. He has his own limoncello company, and was probably just making sure the current batch was up to par.
And as delicious as limoncello is, I can hardly blame him.
I was inspired after reading a post on making limoncello by a fellow food blogger Heather, of Voodoo & Sauce. I had toyed with the idea when I would look at the copious amounts of Meyer lemons in my fridge twice a year. My little trees are very fertile! Most recipes call for just the zest of the lemon, but to be honest I was just too lazy to zest all those lemons. Heather’s recipe just cut the lemons in quarters and plopped them into the booze. Yep, a recipe I could really appreciate.
I hit my local BevMo store and bought a couple of 750 ml bottles of Everclear, the 150 proof grain alcohol. If you are curious about what it tastes like, do not do as I did and take a sip! It burned, I cried, I coughed, ugh. I washed and quartered about 30 lemons, poured the booze on, and walked away.
Well, maybe I did a little bit more. I covered the jar with a dark towel and moved it to a cool part of the kitchen. Once a week or so I would swoosh the jar around a bit, then recover it. But otherwise, it sat on my counter for 4 weeks becoming liquid gold.
After a month, I strained the liquid off the lemons and reserved it in a large bowl. I placed the lemons into a large stock pot and added the following:
4 cups of water
3 cups of raw cane or turbinado sugar
1 cup of Honey Ridge Farms Lemon Honey Creme (more about this tasty treat coming soon)
Turn the flame on the stove to medium. With a potato masher, press on the lemons and squash the hell out of them! Do this when you are annoyed with someone or something, it works wonders on stress. Mash and stir until the sugar and honey have dissolved. Strain the juices through a fine mesh strainer, or a larger mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth into the bowl with the infused alcohol. Stir both liquids together to blend well, then pour it into bottles, jars or whatever you have to hold the limoncello. I had a rag tag assortment of old jars and bottles, but they worked and I recycled. That’s a win-win situation!
I suggest keeping your limoncello in the freezer or fridge. Enjoy it over ice, straight up in a chilled glass, or mixed with sparkling water. In the photo above you will see a repurposed bottle of Trader Joe’s French Market Sparkling Lemonade. This is an excellent mixer for your limoncello. No matter how you enjoy it, enjoy it.
Cheryl D Lee