When life hands you lemons, pick up some vodka and make Limoncello! Limoncello is an aperitif (dessert liqueur) which comes from Sorrento, Italy. It is made from the locally grown lemons, which are famously large and sweet. Unfortunately, this tasty treat is not as easy to come by in the United States as it is in Italy, so I will share a recipe with you. It should tide you over until you are able to travel to Italy and bring some of the real stuff back home with you.
In addition to the ingredients listed, you will need cheesecloth and corkable bottles, or bottles that can be tightly capped.
12-14 lemons, scrubbed well (organic lemons are best)
2 bottles (750 ml) good quality vodka (I like SKYY, Ketel One and our locally produced Cold River Vodka)
5 c water
4 ¬Ω c sugar
Zest lemons, avoid leaving white pith on the peel. Place zest in a large glass jar, add vodka, cover and store in a dark place at room temperature.
Allow infusion for anywhere from two weeks to two months; the longer it steeps, the better tasting it will be.
After the period of infusion, make the simple syrup by boiling water and sugar over medium high heat until thickened. Allow syrup to cool completely and then add to mixture. Cover and store in darkened room at room temperature for a month.
After thoroughly washing bottles, strain the mixture through cheesecloth to remove peel, then pour into bottles and seal tightly.
Store in a cool place, or better yet, your freezer as limoncello is best served very cold. Enjoy!
Have you been to this lovely little town along the Gulf of Naples? How does my recipe for limoncello compare?