Last month I wrote an entry about lemonade, the reason life had handed me so many lemons was because I made limoncello for a friend’s birthday present. So after zesting a couple dozen lemons, I had quite a few left over.
I reached out to some college friends, Nicole and Jason since I had homemade limecello when I visited them in Philly a while back. Unfortunately, they were on a cruise so I took to the web to find the best limoncello recipe. I ended up meshing the methods from Giada De Laurentiis and imbibe.
When they returned, Nicole told me they actually prefer limecello so I decided to make it too since it didn’t take as long to set.
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
2 cups water
1 (750-ml) bottle everclear
6 cups water
6 cups sugar
Microplane or vegetable peeler
Cheesecloth or Mesh strainer for draining
Well-sealed jar for fermentation period
1 gallon pitcher
Glass bottles for limoncello
Wash the lemons and limes thoroughly under water to remove the waxy residue. Zest the skin into glass storing jars. Add bottle of vodka or everclear.
The limoncello should seep for at least two weeks. Shake the bottle daily. You will know when the limecello is ready because the zest has turned white, it takes about a week.
The limoncello will become very yellow and extremely aromatic.
After each mixture has seeped for the time indicated above, strain through a double layer of moistened cheesecloth into the pitcher, being sure to squeeze the last drops. If you use a mesh strainer, press fist into zest to get remaining juices.
Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the simple syrup into the pitcher and stir.
Using the funnel, pour the mixture into glass bottles. Seal tightly and let rest at least three days. The longer you let the mixture set, the better it will taste.
Food for Thought:
-I learned that asking your friends if they have a funnel generates lots of “LOL” responses via text. Apparently, people only had them lying around in college…even the 20 somethings upstairs who party all the time laughed at this question.
-Wash the lemons and limes under cold water with a Brillo pad. I found this to be the best method to remove the wax.
-I really recommend using a microplane over a vegetable peeler. It’s the only way to make sure you don’t get any pith (the white under-skin) that will cause bitterness. In fact, a microplane is a must for any kitchen.
-Most people don’t have glass bottles lying around. I found a cool, cheap one at Marshalls and used empty Pellegrino and Italian soda bottles.
-I recommend refrigerating the limon/limecello overnight before serving.