It has taken me far too long to discover how amazing — and how astoundingly easy — it is to make my own limoncello. I have this hazy idea that limoncello must be a closely guard secret keep by a sect of weathered Italian grandfathers with wooly driving caps and secretive, knowing smiles. Just me? Well, it turns out all you need to make truly incredible limoncello are some good lemons, a bottle of stiff vodka, and just a little patience.
Traditionally, limoncello is produce from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, also known as Sorrento or Sfusato lemons. Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, is steeped in rectified spirit until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mix with simple syrup. Therefore, varying the sugar-to-water ratio and the temperature affects the clarity, viscosity, and flavor. Opaque limoncellos are the result of spontaneous emulsification (otherwise call as the ouzo effect) of the sugar syrup and extracted lemon oils.
Nutrition Facts of Limoncello
- STEP 1
Pare the zest from all the lemons, taking care not to include any white pith. Put the zest in a large clean jar and pour over the vodka. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and leave for a week, shaking the jar each day.
- STEP 2
Put the sugar in a heatproof bowl and pour over the boiling water, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the vodka and peels and leave for a further week, shaking the jar regularly.
- STEP 3
Strain into decorative bottles, adding a few strips of lemon zest to each bottle.
Limoncello (sometimes called “lemoncello”) liqueur is made by soaking lemon zests in neutral grain alcohol for a month or more. So, the result is a thick, sweet dessert cordial with an intense lemon flavor. Therefore, it is traditionally an Italian liqueur but is also produced in other countries, including the United States, today. The two countries also consume it most often. While limoncello is customarily enjoy on its own for dessert, it also makes a brilliant cocktail ingredient, prized for its sweet, citrusy flavor that makes equally delicious mixed drinks.