We recently finished the last of the limoncello brought back from our previous Italian adventure. This was a fairly sad occasion, but did give me something to do with the bags of lemons brought down by my father when he came for the wine bottling: make a replacement! (When life gives you lemons, and all that…) I’m sort of following two recipes: one from Rick Steves, and one from Saving the Season. In truth, I haven’t really followed any recipes at all yet, because I’ve only done the first part.
To make limoncello, there are two steps: extracting the flavors from the peel, and mixing the extract with sugar water to make a drink. I’ve done the first. Rather than stick with any particular recipe, I decided just to put in the skins of all the lemons I had (ten or so) into a jar with all of the 750 ml bottle of everclear (151 proof) I picked up at the local BevMo. You’re supposed to be very careful to only get the yellow part of the skins (the zest), as the white stuff (the pith) is bitter.
It’s been sitting in a cabinet since the second week of April, and has turned quite yellow. I haven’t decided yet how to dilute it–once I figure out what strength I want the final product to be I’ll add water and an appropriate amount of sugar. And then it will probably age for another couple weeks after that. Updates to follow in part 2.