Limoncello (Italian pronunciation: [limonˈtʃɛl:o]) is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi, and islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri. It is also produced in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Apulia, Sicily, Sardinia, Menton in France, and the Maltese island of Gozo. Although there is debate about the exact origin of the drink, it is at least one hundred years old.
Limoncello is smooth and sweet with an intense lemon flavor. It can be sipped on its own, mixed into sparkling water, or shaken into cocktails. – Why you wouldn’t delight yourself in the sweetness straight on its own I simply have no idea – Limoncello can range from very sweet to super tart and citrusy — as the maker of the limoncello, that’s something that you get to decide. Lucky you.
To make it, infuse lemon peels into vodka. No distilling or secret ingredients required. After letting the peels and vodka mingle for anywhere from a few days to a month, it’s strained, mixed with sugar syrup, chilled — and just like that = limoncello that you will fall in love with on your very first sip.
10 organic lemons
1 liter bottle of 80 proof vodka
3 1/2 cups water
3 1/2 cups sugar
Using a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and loosely cover. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4-14 days at room temperature. The longer the vodka mingles with the lemons, the more intense the lemony flavor.
And, the bright yellow lemon peels swirling and curling about the countertop, dancing within the liqeuer, serve as simply delightful decor for the kitchen.
Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold or store in the freezer, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.
Best served ice cold (from the freezer) with a garnish of fresh lemon zest and perhaps some candied ginger.