Years ago, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Italy with my Mom. One of the places we visited was the Isle of Capri. It’s a stunning place: bright and sunny, with flavors equally reflecting the vibrant location.
I tried Limoncello there for the first time, and loved the delicate lemon flavor. When we got home, I started working out how to make it. I found that the secret is in the simple syrup used to sweeten the vodka, enhancing it by adding the juice from the lemons whose peels infuse the vodka.
The bonus is, if you have extra lemon simple syrup, add it to tea, still or sparkling water for another refreshing beverage.
Copyright 2009 by Lauren Bradford
(aka The Food Puzzler)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Processing time: 3 days (mostly inactive)
Makes: Approximately 200 Liters
1-1.75 liter bottle vodka of choice
1 cup sugar of choice
Water as needed
1. Wash the lemons and carefully remove the peel so that you don’t get any of the white pith, as that will make the Limoncello bitter tasting.
2. Place the peel into the bottle of vodka and cap it, then place the vodka in your fridge for 3 days.
3. Next, juice the three lemons and strain out the seeds, and place in a measuring cup. Top off the measuring cup with water so it equals one full cup of liquid.
For the next step, have a bowl of ice water next to you at the stove and be sure that you have at least 30 minutes where you can focus on the stove. Sugar, when heated, can boil over quickly.
4. Place the liquid in a medium-size pan with the one cup of sugar, and warm on medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Then, reduce heat to low and continue warming until the mixture thickens slightly into a lemon simple syrup, about 20 minutes. Then, cool completely and store in an airtight container in your fridge.
5. After the 3 days have passed, strain the vodka into a pitcher with room for the lemon simple syrup as well. Start by adding half of the simple syrup to the pitcher, stir and taste. Continue adding the lemon simple syrup to the pitcher until the taste is to your preference.
Serve chilled; portion size is one ounce.
To store, keep refrigerated in a closed container.