Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur produced mainly in Italy near Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Interestingly limoncello is not sour , partly due to the fact that there is no lemon juice in it. The lemony flavor is all thanks to the lemon zest, the outermost part of the lemon peel, where the essential oils are most concentrated. The lemon zest is stripped from the lemon and steeped in alcohol for a period of time until all the oils are released. This yellow liquid is then mixed with a simple syrup to make the liqueur. Its easy to make, so why don’t you try it.
Traditionally it is served chilled as an after dinner digestive but can be made into the most deliciously cocktails as well.
Last year we brought out a bottle after our Christmas lunch, and it was a huge success, so this year we are making plenty for Christmas gifts. Making limoncello requires a certain amount of planning ahead, and little bit of patience, and that’s the hardest part. All that is required are some lemons, a few bottles of Vodka (and the cheap ones are perfect to use – keep your money for something else), sugar , and a dark cupboard to keep it hidden in for a few weeks.
And of course if you dont want to make it , buy a bottle, and try these stunning Cocktail recipes thatAndrea and Marzia of Sovrano Limoncello have kindly shared with us.
Check out their website athttp://www.limoncello.co.nz/index.html
Home Made Limoncello
In total this recipe will make 2750ml (about 3pints)of limoncello
- 15 lemons
- 2 x 750ml bottles of vodka
- 4 cups of granulated sugar
- 5 cups of water
Make sure that the lemons are scrubbed to remove any waxy residue from
pesticides. If you are able to get organic ones , this would be the best option.
Zest your lemons, making sure to use only the yellow outer skin. If you go too
deep and take the pith it will cloud your limoncello and it will be bitter.
Pour the 2 bottles of vodka into a airtight container and add the zest. Seal the
jar and place in a dark cupboard
Allow this to sit for a minimum of 10 days. I like to leave mine for at least one
month,but preferably three. During this time all the essential oils from the lemon are released.
Combine the sugar and water in a large pan and gently boil for about 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool completely before adding it to the limoncello mixture.
Seal the jar again.
Allow this to stand for another 10 days to a month. After this period the limoncello can be strained and you can discard the zest.
The clear liquid can then be bottled.
I keep mine in the freezer so that it is ready to serve chilled at any time.
I love all things lemon, so yes to all of the above! I am off to look at the recipe now 🙂