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Limoncello Liqueur

We first tasted limoncello while in Sorrento and fell in love with it. You can buy it at the liquor store but it can be pricey and a little too sweet. Just in case you are wondering it is a great after dinner drink served in small liqueur glasses, ICE COLD. I apologize for not sending this sooner, but honestly thought had…que lastima! If any of you are interested I have a great cake recipe for using this…mmm…

Italian Limoncello – How To Make Limoncello

Prep time: 20 min           Total time: From 40 to 80 days

15 lemons*
2 (750 ml) bottles 100-proof vodka or 1 (750 ml) (we only get 40 proof here)
4 cups granulated sugar
5 cups water (filtered tap water or distilled water)

* Choose thick-skinned lemons because they are easier to zest. The lemons must be yellow and not tinted with green.

Step One:

Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry.

Carefully zest the lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is too bitter and would spoil your limoncello.

Step Two:

In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar with lid), add vodka. Add the lemon zest as it is zested.

Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least (10) ten days and up to (40) days in a cool dark place. The longer the mixture rests, the better the end taste will be. (There is no need to stir – all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly takes on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.

Step Three:

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; bring to a gentle boil and let boil, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool before adding it to the Limoncello mixture.

Add cooled sugar mixture to the Limoncello mixture (from Step One).

Cover jar and allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days.

Step Four:

After the rest period, strain the Limoncello; discarding the lemon zest.(I leave the zest in) Pour strained Limoncello in bottle/bottles (of your choice) and seal tightly.

NOTE: Coffee filters or cheesecloth work great for straining the mixture if you don’t want the zest in the drink. Moisten the filters before beginning the straining process.

Keep your bottle/bottles of Limoncello in the freezer until ready to serve. Serve ice cold from the freezer. If it freezes hard, run it under a little warm water for two minutes.