Tuesday, February 9, 2010

When The World Gives You Lemons...

Sometimes you just want something different. What's more satisfying than say limoncello in December? Well, limoncello in January. Or February. In fact, I'd say it's a very nice way to bring a little sunshine into a cold, snowy environment. So I decided to make my own.

There are some critical things to know about making limoncello - you have to start with good lemons. The best, in my opinion, have a vibrant aroma when you run your nail across the rind. Also, you're using just the rind, and you're using seven lemons. Try to plan out what to do with the actual juice and pulp.

And that rind? If you get even an ounce of the white pith on the rind, you're going to end up with bitter limoncello. When the recipe says "rind only" consider it a warning.

You should know that making limoncello today means you're about two weeks from a finished product. It takes time.

I peeled the rind carefully, sat the works on the kitchen counter and waited the two weeks. It was worth the wait. Because you control the ingredients, you control the amount of sugar. I like mine less sweet, as the ultra-sugary ones in the stores are headache-inducing.

Here's my attempt:


7 lemons
1 bottle (750 ml) vodka
4 cups water
2-3 cups white sugar (less sweet is better)

Carefully peel the rind, making sure there's no white pith on it. Place into a large pitcher (2 quarts works well). Add vodka to rind and cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid. Let it sit at room temperature for 10-14 days.

Ten to fourteeen days later, mix water and sugar in saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool completely. Add to lemon/vodka mixture. Strain out lemon rinds. (You can take out the rinds prior to adding the water, if you like.)

Bottle and store in the refrigerator. It will keep up to a year.

Because it's yellow, do label it. Otherwise, it looks, well, rather like a sample for your doctor.


Poetic Shutterbug said...

Lori, thanks for this post. I've never tried it but always wondered about it so this is very informative. Thanks.

Lori said...

You'll like it, Joanne. It's really something special!

Jackie said...

Thanks for stopping by. At my age anything that hypes me up is great so that's probably why I love onions :)

Limoncello is wonderful. I tried it for Christmas (it's Summer in South Africa then) and it was sooo thirst quenching (and with a bit of a kick ). I got my recipe from the fab Urban Vegan book, a simple one like yours. As you say the quality of the lemons you use is very important.

Lori said...

So true, Jackie! If you use underripe lemons, guess what that limoncello is tasting like?