Limoncello (Sweet lemon-flavored vodka/alcohol) – part II

22Aug10
Bottled Limoncello with a Hakka dolly

Bottled Limoncello with a Hakka dolly

Limoncello, completed!  Strained, filtered, and bottled in its original vodka bottle, I must admit it is super delicious, even if I only let it marinate for five days.

My first attempt at making my own liquor came out excellent, and it didn’t even freeze in the freezer!  (There have been reports that 80 proof vodka would freeze– thus far, I’ve found a few ice crystals, but nothing that hasn’t made the limoncello taste anything but better; in any case, read on if you do encounter too many ice crystals in your limoncello)

Because I merely sketched out what I did in my last entry about Limoncello, I figure it’s about time that I put a formal recipe out there.

(Oh, and note that I’m just writing down the way I made it.  There are, of course, thousands of versions of limoncello out there.  If you have a better one, please leave a comment!  See below the jump for the full recipe.)

LimoncelloLimoncello - Finished Bottle on the Windowsill

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 fresh, thick-skinned  lemons
  • 1 bottle (750ml) 80-proof vodka (or, if you are so inclined, 151 or 190 proof Everclear– but I have not tried this, so I don’t know how it will taste)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water

Materials:

  • 1 large jar
  • bottles for bottling the finished product
  • cheesecloth
  • funnel

Directions:

  1. Scrub the lemons well.  The alcohol will be steeping in the lemon peels for an extended period of time, so it’s imperative they be clean.  Cut out any black or funky spots.
  2. Shave off the lemon peel (or use a grater) and make sure you do not get any of the pith on the part of the lemon peel you’ll be using.
  3. Dump the lemon peels into the jar and dump in the alcohol (vodka, in my case).
  4. Cover the jar and label with the date-in as well as finish-date (anywhere from 4 days to 2.5 months– for timing reasons, I marinated my limoncello for a little over 4 days).
  5. Wait.

    Limoncello - Jeanne is Bottling

    Limoncello - Jeanne Bottling Finished Limoncello

  6. Wait.
  7. Frustratedly grapple with bottle because of impatience.
  8. Wait.
  9. When the time is up (finally!), first make the sweet syrup.  Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan on medium heat and heat until the water/sugar mixture is clear.
  10. Add the syrup to the jar with the peels and alcohol.  Allow to cool.
  11. When the sweetened mixture has cooled, then line the funnel with cheesecloth and position it over the bottling bottle (preferably pre-sterilized).
  12. Carefully pour the liquor into the bottle, seal it, and store it in the freezer.
  13. That’s it!  After dinner, in the evening, limoncello makes for a great dessert.  Or you can use it as a separate ingredient in making a variety of other delicious desserts.

Note:  If you find that your limoncello is freezing, then add a little bit of vodka at a time.  As the concentration of alcohol in the liquor increases, then the temperature that it will freeze will rise, and it should slosh up and become liquid once again.Limoncello - Shots on a sill

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