Originally an Italian Lemon Liqueur produced in Southern Italy, Limoncello is a smooth, vibrant flavored liquor that is great for gift giving and an occasional treat.
The first time Limoncello graced my lips and taste buds, some friends of ours had brought a bottle to a gathering. We loved the sweet-tart lemon concoction instantly, sparking that insatiable wanderlust! It wasn’t too long after that experience that we traveled to Italy to try it for ourselves.
The shops throughout Sorrento were lined with bottles of various flavors, Limoncello, Orangello, even Melon! The flavors were incredible, as each family holds their own unique recipe, often many generations old.
When we returned home, I was anxious to try my hand at making my own delectable Limoncello to share with all of my friends. The best part is you don’t have to travel to Italy to enjoy the flavor, you can make it at home with this easy recipe!
1 liter **Everclear (or High-Quality Vodka)
1 1/2 c. Sugar
4 cups water
Zest all of the lemons, but avoid using any of the pith (the white part closest to the lemon) as this will make your limoncello bitter. Put the zest in a large mason jar and add the Everclear. Cover (loosely) and allow it to rest for 1 week to fully infuse the flavors of the lemon zest.
After 1 week has passed, continue:
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water and bring to a rolling boil. Do NOT Stir, but continue to boil for exactly 15 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and cool until it reaches room temperature. Combine the cooled syrup with the infused lemon Everclear, mixing well. Strain thoroughly through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, transfer to glass bottles and seal. Allow the Limoncello to age for 14 days before consuming.
**Everclear is a brand name of a clear spirit that is bottled at 151 and 190 proof. It’s considerably stronger than vodka, but if you don’t have access to it (like many overseas) or if it’s illegal in your state, you can use high-quality vodka instead.
Photo Credit: Alejos