Step 1 to homemade Limoncello

Have YOU ever had limoncello? I first enjoyed this after a meal at a ristorante in a back-alley in Florence, Italy. The aperitif is said to clean the palate and leave the belly warm as you stroll through the streets at night…

Yes, it’s THAT romantic. And ever since then I’ve had a small bottle of Villa Massa limoncello in my freezer.

So, let’s try making it at home…

Here is where I started after researching dozens of recipes…

Step 1:

– Combine 750 ml bottle of vodka and 750 ml bottle of Everclear (tasteless grain alcohol) in a container with a lid, at least the size of a gallon.
– Add rinds from 15 large organic lemons (unwaxed, scrubbed clean with a vegetable brush). You will want to use the lemons with thick, bright skin that are mostly free of flaws/nicks.

Using a swivel peeler is the best (it will peel off just the skin)… but if you don’t have one of those you can use a knife. Just make sure to skim the white off the back of the skin with a knife…

Note on peeling lemons… if you are using a knife you will most likely need to remove the white pith on the back of it. You don’t want any of that white pith – it makes the drink bitter.

So, just keep peeling those lemons… one by one. And add the rinds to the alcohol. Below are the rinds from one lemon.

(It was at about this moment that I realized I needed a larger container. Hence, the different container in the next few pics.)

Yes, this is a labor of love… and believe me, it’s very worth it! Keep peeling…

And of course, once you’ve peeled the lemons you will want to juice them. I poured mine into ice cube trays and threw them in the freezer. Summer’s a comin’…

Where do I go from here?
What are the next steps?
How long does this process take?

Once I add the Everclear (tomorrow), I will transfer the fluids to a larger container (with a tight lid) and set it aside in a cool/dark place. Every two weeks I will gently stir the mixture. After 5-6 weeks I will test the lemon rinds.

How to test the rinds? Remove a rind and bend it in half… if it snaps apart like a crisp potato chip then it’s time to move to the next step. The lemon rinds will impart a most beautiful flavor without sourness or bitterness … just enough tartness to make it fabulous!

But it’s a slow process. So what’s the next step? After these 30-40 days there will be another 30-40 days in the process. Like I said, it’s a labor of love. I can’t wait to try this during the summer…

Follow along with me?

Stay tuned… you won’t regret it…

AND, I’m also making this with grapefruit…

Can’t wait… I can’t wait!

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

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