Limoncello is an Italian Liquor made with the zest of lemons, in my case Meyer Lemons, sugar, water and of course alcohol. In the US either Vodka 80 proof or higher or Pure Grain Alcohol. In Italy they use Grappa.
Grappa is made from the seeds stalks and stems left over from the grapes in the wine making process. It ranges from 70-120 proof.
Meyer Limoncello is a little less stringent than the limoncello made from regular lemons. It is a little smoother, a little easier to drink straight up. I like it over ice myself, but Italians would glare at me for that.
Limoncello is a very handy to have on hand, especially Meyer Limoncello. You can use it to make cocktails, like a lemon margarita, and you can use it because of it’s sweetness in a large variety of desserts.
I like making limoncello because two bottles of it takes up 10 Meyer Lemons. The zest of the 10 lemons. You can use the juice to make lemonade. I also put a tablespoon or two in the divisions in an ice cube tray and make premeasured lemon juice cubes to use year round!
I am going to let you know how to make Limoncello today and then I will give you several recipes that use it!
750 ml Vodka or Pure Grain Alcohol with a proof of at least 80
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
Using a vegetable peeler peel the skin from the lemons trying not to get too much of the white pith. The good thing about Meyer Lemons is that the skin is thinner than regular lemons so you don’t get so much of the white pith.
Put the peelings in a quart or 2 pint Mason Jars. Cover with the Alcohol. Seal the jars and let stand in a dark cool place for 2 weeks.
You can infuse it for up to a month. I hold the jars up to a sheet of white paper and see if the liquid floating above the peels is the color I’m aiming for. I usually never go beyond two weeks.
When it has infused the proper time, make a simple syrup with the sugar and the water.
Using a 4 cup measuring cup strain the Mason Jar into the measuring cup. You may need to stir the peelings to get all of the liquid out of it.
Add the simple syrup and mix well.
Decant into bottles and refrigerate. It will last for up to two months in the refrigerator and a year in the freezer.
I make this from the Meyer Lemons in my backyard that I know are organic, have not been sprayed or have any chemicals. If you are going to purchase lemons to make this, I would recommend organic lemons and make sure that you wash them well. Not only will the alcohol infuse the oils from the zest but also any pesticides, etc. that were sprayed on them. So go organic and scrub them well – no soap!