Make Your Own Limoncello
First off, let’s talk about the history or limoncello. While peeling lemons, soaking them in alcohol, and then pouring sugary water into the mix may not sound like something that has much of a history, it actually does! First off, it’s at least a century old.
Most traditionally, it’s made using the zest of a specific Italian lemon, known as a Sorrento lemon. Since my private plane is being repaired and I couldn’t fly to Italy for a specific lemon (ha!), I usually just use Meyer lemons for a sweeter limoncello, but other varieties work.
The drink was originally served chilled after dinner straight-up. In European countries where meals usually tend to take longer than here, conversations go on and on while sipping. Personally, I love it, and I think it’s perfect for a summer afternoon. Anyway, enough about the history, let’s talk about what you need to make your own!
First, you’ll need a clean pitcher and a large bottle to store the finished limoncello in. Thoroughly wash (using a vinegar bath) and dry the 10-12 lemons and then use a very sharp knife to remove the peel. Be careful not to include the pith; if you accidentally slice some pith off trim it away from the peel before continuing. Dump the peels into the bottom of the pitcher and top with 1 750 mL bottle of vodka.
If the pitcher is airtight, affix the airtight lid. If it isn’t, cover with plastic wrap. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for at least 5 days.
After 5 days, uncover the mixture and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt 2 ½ C. sugar (or Splenda) with 3 ½ C. water to form a simple syrup. Once they’ve combined, dump the sugar water into the vodka and lemons. Allow to sit for another night.
Serve chilled, or try making a limoncello spritzer. Either way, you can’t go wrong!