July 15, 2011

Make your own Limoncello

Hi everyone! This is Karla from Soap Addict, and I'm a newbie writer to the Etsy Fort Worth blog. I'll be sharing some random do-it-yourself activities with you over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy them!

I decided I would try my hand at making limoncello for my mom's birthday last year since she loves it, and have since made it several times. It makes a great, unique gift and my mom loved it! Turns out making limoncello is pretty darn easy (it has only 4 ingredients), but does require some serious patience. Don't start this project 3 days before the gift-giving event (or 3 weeks...more like 3 months would be good - think holiday gifts).

Ok, here's the scoop on what you'll need:
  • 1 bottle of grain alcohol (everclear or vodka, I used everclear) - the stronger the better
  • a bunch of the prettiest lemons you can find (I used 8 )
  • 3.5 cups water
  • 2.5 cups sugar

Wash the lemons really well - scrub all the wax off with a scrubby brush. Then peel them all with a veggie peeler, making sure not to get any of the white part under the rind (it will make it bitter).

Dump the peels into a big glass jar and pour in the alcohol (yes, the entire bottle). Set in a dark place and forget about it for at least 45 days (I let mine sit about 70 days - I kind of did forgot about it).

Side note: since you'll only be using the peels and not the juice for this, I'd suggest squeezing up those lemons for a big jug of lemonade. Here's a recipe I've been eyeing: sparkling strawberry lemonade.

On day 45 (or any day after that if you let it sit longer), make a simple syrup with the sugar and water. Let cool completely, and then add to the lemon mixture. Cap it again and put back in that same dark place for another 2 - 4 weeks.

I only waited about 2 weeks, and I tasted it after one week to see how it was coming along. It mellowed a lot by week 2, so I decided to strain and bottle it. I used a tea strainer on the top of a pitcher to get all of the lemon rind out. My strainer has a really fine mesh, so I only strained it once, but I've read others strain it several times. Once was good for me.

A couple of notes on the process: it turns cloudy as soon as you add the sugar water. This is normal, so don't worry. The longer you let it sit, the better. So if you forget about it in the back of your pantry and then find it 3 months later, it's ok! It's really difficult to mess this stuff up.

Here's how the final product came out. I got these bottles at World Market and made the tags to go around the necks. I also put a recipe on the back of each tag.

My mom and I enjoyed the limoncello together, first straight up, and then as a Bellini mixed with some champagne. It turned out very tasty, and the limoncello Bellini is just delicious! Just pour a little limoncello in your glass, top with champagne, and enjoy! Oh, and store your homemade limoncello in the freezer, because it's really good that way :)


1 comment:

Sarah at Sima Design said...

If I plan ahead- it would make a great little gift to give for my girls-night-out group for Christmas too! I'm always in the mood for something with bottled sunshine by then!