Home Made Liqueurs: Limoncello

Limoncello is one of those liqueurs that you don’t necessarily need, but once you have it, you find it very useful for many different drinks. It was originally intended as an after dinner drink, but in more modern times, is often found hobnobbing it amongst spirits of all sorts in various cocktails. Now, you can always buy Limoncello at your local package store (liquor store for those who don’t know), but that just wouldn’t be Infusiastic enough. Especially when you consider that at its essence, Limoncello is just a lemon zest infusion of grain alcohol.
So I ventured to make my own.

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Ingredients:​
– 10 lemons
– 350 mL grain spirit (Everclear)
– 1.75 cups water
– 1.25 cups sugar

Prep Time:
11 – 15 days

Yield:
750 mL (approx.)

Directions:
– Zest the lemons using a vegetable peeler or Microplane zester. The objective is to obtain as much lemon zest as possible yet as little of the white pith underneath.
– Put your lemon zest in a Mason jar (or airtight container) and cover with the grain spirit. Let this mixture steep in a cool, dark place for 10 – 14 days. The longer it sits the more mellow and darker the final product.
– After this period, combine your water and sugar in a pot, heating and stirring until the sugar completely dissolves (SIMPLE SYRUP. YAY!). Remove from heat and let cool.
– Poor simple syrup into lemon zest mixture and stir. Let the mixture sit for another 24 hours.
– Filter the Limoncello mixture through a coffee filter to remove the lemon zest and any remaining solids. Repeat filtering until satisfied.
– Put the Limoncello in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and keep in the refrigerator, or freezer, for storage. *** keeps for about a month in the fridge and 4 in the freezer***

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For continuity purposes I will save the cocktail recipe that usually goes here for next week. Stay Tuned.

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If looking for a less alcohol intense flavor, substitute vodka for the grain alcohol. This will greatly dilute the alcohol content of the final product producing a much softer version. This softer version is good to add a bit of adult oomph to your iced tea or hot toddy. You may even venture to use it for its original purpose and have a short, chilled glass of Limoncello after a nice dinner.

Enjoy.

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