Here’s a recipe for Limoncello, a summery liqueur that is easy to make at home. It is typically served to sup on, icy cold, as a digestif after dinner. For more options, this site has tons of mixed drinks you can make using your homemade Limoncello.
Do-it-yourself liqueurs are great because you can control the amount of sugar that goes into them, and it’s fun to make them. I read a lot of recipes online, and most were similar, so I did what seemed right to make this one. I had some of the simple syrup left over, since I didn’t want to add too much sugar; it tastes sweeter when it is cold. You can always add more sugar later, or for individuals with more of a sweet tooth.
For this recipe you’ll need a large jar for the first part that sits for a week or two, then some bottles for the finished product. It’s best to buy organic lemons for this recipe, since the peels are what flavours this drink.
What you need:
- zest of 4-5 organic lemons
- 1 litre 80-proof vodka
- 3 & 3/4 cups water
- 2 & 1/4 cups sugar
What you do:
- Wash the lemons well and dry them.
- Peel the yellow part of the lemon rind – it is important that you don’t use even a trace of the white part of the rind, as this will give your Limoncello a bitter taste. I used a very sharp vegetable peeler, but you could also do this carefully with a knife. Alternatively you can use a zester to grate the peel.
- Place the lemon zest in a large jar and top it up with the litre of vodka. Tighten a lid on the jar and put it in a cool, dark place for a week or two. I covered mine with a tea towel.
- Wait. Give the jar a shake every other day.
- After a week or so you should see that the vodka has turned yellow. Strain the lemon zest out of the vodka.
- Combine the water and sugar in a pot and heat it gently on the stove. Let the simple syrup cool to room temperature. (When I make this again I will use less water in the simple syrup so that I can store it in the freezer.)
- Add some of the simple syrup to the vodka and taste to see if it needs more. I used about equal parts of each, maybe less of the simple syrup.
- This drink is best served icy cold out of the fridge (depending on how much simple syrup you used, this may contain too much water and turn into a slushy, and possibly break the bottle), and keeps indefinitely.