Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Limoncello


The last time my husband and I went to Italy, we came home with a suitcase full of Italian souvenirs---including a few bottles of limoncello.

As nature would have it, I found out 10 days after returning home that I was pregnant. So my vision of sitting on my patio sipping on my limoncello was left at just that...a vision. I made my husband swear that he would not touch the last bottle of limoncello until after our baby was born so that I was able to enjoy those last sips and memories of our trip to Italy.

Once our daughter was born, the limoncello was fair game--and is now a distant memory.

We were able to hunt a bottle down at Dean and Deluca while in Napa for our 3 year anniversary and even though it was very good--it just didn't compare to what I found in Italy.

Most Italians make their own housemade limoncello. In fact, many of the mom and pop restaurants we went to served the best limoncello we ever had. So when I found a recipe for limoncello in my local newspaper...I was on it like white on rice!

Keep in mind- this is a sipping drink for after dinner. Pour a small amount into a shot glass and that should be all you need. The real purpose of the drink is to break down the food in your gut for easier digestion. Not sure if its true, per se but I will tell you it's worked for me when I've eaten a bit too much! ;)

The outcome: Totally lemon, totally delicious...and warning....totally strong!

Tip: Use my vegetable wash for the lemons!

For the recipe:

Homemade Limoncello
by: Cafe Coco

Ingredients:
1 liter GOOD quality vodka (preferably something with a higher alcohol content) I used Kettle One
2.5 cups sugar
2 cups water
Zest of 15 fresh lemons, washed

Directions:
Wash lemons well with a vegetable wash.  Pat dry.

In a clean gallon glass jar, add 1/2 liter (about 4 cups) vodka.  Zest lemons with a zester and add to vodka.  Stir and cover.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 10 days or up to 40 days (you want a cool, dark environment but not the refrigerator).

In a large saucepan, add water and sugar.  Heat over medium high heat until mixture becomes thick and sugar is disolved, about 5 minutes.  Take saucepan off heat and let sugar syrup cool.  Add syrup to the vodka, zest mixture and stir to combine.  Add the other half of the vodka (about 4 cups), stir.  Cover the glass jar again and let it rest for another 10-40 days.

Strain zest from vodka with cheesecloth and pour into clean glass containers.  Store in the freezer and serve as needed!  

1 comment:

All Things Yummy said...

I never thought to make my own. Great idea. I'll have to try that.