Monday, November 17, 2008

Limoncello Experiment

After drinking lots of homemade limoncello this past weekend, I decided to try to make my very own. If you don't know what this is, it is an Italian liquor made of lemon zest, grain alcohol or vodka, sugar, and water. Italians will tell you that it is a digestive aid and is consumed usually at the end of an evening meal. It isn't something that you sit around and drink a ton of -- it is usually served in a cordial glass and is something you sip. Anyway, it is delicious. And I decided to make some this afternoon.

I researched various recipes on the internet, and they are all slightly different. But the jist of it is this: peel or zest about 15 lemons, pour 2 bottles vodka or grain alcohol over the top of the peels and let sit for several weeks. Then make a simple syrup and mix in with the alcohol and lemon mixture. You then let this sit for a few weeks then filter and bottle. The biggest variation in the many different recipes I read was the amount of time to let the mixture combine. Apparently the longer the better, so I'm going to let phase 1 meld for about a month. (I'll probably let phase 2 sit for another month, so we're looking at January).

Here is what it looks like right now! I'll keep yall posted on its progress.

I did cut the recipe in half simply because I do not know how this is going to turn out. I may find that I need to tweak the recipe/technique slightly so I only made a half batch. The thing that frustrates me a little bit is that its at least a 2 month process. So it isn't like I can go ahead and start a new batch without knowing what I'll need to correct.
Also, I know it looks like I left lots of yellow on these lemons. I did go back in and try to scrape them some more with my knife, but it is very important not to get too much pith (white part) attached to the zest so I was overly cautious.
After I peeled all those lemons, I hated to just let them go to waste so I also made some fresh squeezed lemondade. Took me an hour to squeeze 10 lemons! Really, I think I've got arthritis now!


Josh said...

Did you put all those potato peelings in the jar or what?

Megan said...

kat! i am so impressed! go martha!! save me a taste in january!
i actually tried some limoncello in italy last summer - and wasn't in love with it. but... i was told there are two kinds - a sort of sour/bitter kind (what i apparently had) and a sweeter/creamier version (hopefully what yours will be). anyway - good luck. so cool!!
ps- you know this is george clooney's favorite drink. maybe you can lure him with it...

Sarah said...

Looks delicious! Let us know how it turns out!

BWL said...

this will be our first time trying alcohol

Ben | said...

Good to see a kindred spirit. I'll be interested to hear how it turns out.