Thursday, May 13, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons... Make Limoncello!

A couple of years ago my sister was walking around the Arts District galleries and a friend of mine asked her, "Would you like some limoncello?"
"Lemon Jello? ok sure", she says.
When he comes back with a little glass of yellow liqueur, she was introduced for the first time to this sweet, citrus beverage, which is not lemon Jello.

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy. The first time I had limoncello was on my birthday a few years ago with a friend who boasts that he doesn't buy limoncello, his mother makes it for him. What the? You can make it? Since that discovery, I have treated myself to limoncello only a few times, and it's usually when I'm with my sister.

Well, this year, for the first time in years, my sister is coming over for her birthday. So I decided to take my maiden voyage in limoncello making and this will be my birthday present. I turned to Giada DiLaurentiis, the Food Network's resident Italian. The whole process was amazingly simple and consisted mainly of lemon peels soaking in vodka on my counter top for four days.

If you like a potent, but sweet & tart little beverage, this you must try. Here's what Giada says to do:


  • 10 lemons
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar


Using a vegetable peeler, 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 cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.

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, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.

This makes enough for two bottles, how convenient! One for my sister, one for me!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh yep...I should make some for this summer too! Homemade one is always better!