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  • Limoncello

    James,
    Some time ago you mentioned that you had made some great limoncello and offered to post the recipe here, but no one asked to have it posted. Would you please post the recipe? I made limoncello several years ago, but have misplaced the recipe. Thanks!
    Ron

  • #2
    Re: Limoncello

    Hi Ron,

    It's a fun thing to do. You are supposed to use grain spirits, but I think you can also get by with Vodka. Our local market in Florence stocked grain spirits, right there next to the wine -- which makes me think a lot of folks still make their own back there. I'm not sure how difficult it is to find it here. Let us know what you find.

    Here is a recipe I got off the Internet, which is very similar to the one we followed. One thing we learned was the more you shake, the better the color. We had lemon trees before, and put them to good use.

    James

    ******************************

    17 large lemons, preferably organic

    Two 750-milliliter bottles grain alcohol

    5 1/2 cups water

    6 cups sugar

    Wash and dry the lemons. With a paring knife, remove the ends. With a vegetable peeler, remove only the yellow rind, leaving the pith intact. (Squeeze juice from the lemons and reserve for another use.)

    Place the lemon peel in a 4-quart Mason jar with a rubber-seal lid. Add the grain alcohol, making sure the lemon peel is completely covered. Store in a cool, dark place, shaking the jar once each day to agitate the lemon peel.

    On the 13th day, bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the sugar and remove from the heat, stirring until it is dissolved. Cover and let cool to room temperature.

    Place a colander on top of the saucepan and strain in the contents of the Mason jar. Discard the lemon peel. Stir to combine the liquids, about 1 minute. Transfer back to the Mason jar. Store for 3 weeks in a cool, dark place, shaking to agitate the liquid twice a day.

    After 3 weeks, transfer the limoncello to smaller bottles that can be sealed with rubber stoppers. Store bottles in freezer. Serve directly from the freezer.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

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    • #3
      Re: Limoncello

      Thanks James. I'd like to try it with grain spirits this time if I can find it. Are grain spirits the same thing as Everclear? When I made it before, I remember using vodka and it worked quite well.
      Ron

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Limoncello

        No, Everclear is too strong. All the recipes I've seen call for Vodka.

        Ice.cold Limoncello is incredibly wonderful on a hot evening after a big meal. It's supposed to be served in small portions, but all my dentist friends and I would just have them leave the bottle on the table. Usually, there was nothing left a half-hour later.
        GJBingham
        -----------------------------------
        Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

        -

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        • #5
          Re: Limoncello

          George,

          I'm a big Limoncello fan. It's a great after dinner drink.

          Here is a link to a good Limoncello recipe and a great resource. Kyle is the Italian food writer for About.com. He's my age (nearly 50), and has spent a lifetime in Florence -- first as a child with his father, who was an archeologist who work on the early Etruscan excavations, and he never went back. His son and my daughter are the same grade.

          His recipes are the real thing, and he really knows his stuff. I've learned a lot just talking with him.

          Limoncello

          His view is that you can use either Vodka or Everclear, but you have to control the alcohol. The Wikipedia reference says that Everclear does a better job of extracting color and flavor from the lemons. Try both. :-)

          James
          Pizza Ovens
          Outdoor Fireplaces

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Limoncello

            Hi Guys,

            We've been making (and drinking) limoncello for a number of years now.
            From the research I've done, it is better to have a high strength alcohol. The higher the better, since the stronger the alcohol is, the better it is at leeching out all the essential oils and colour from the lemons

            From my experience, vodka of 50% (by volume or 100% proof) is about the minimum you should use. The vodka is mentioned in a lot of recipes because that is the strongest you can buy in a lot of countries.

            I use a home distilled alcohol (yes, it is legal in NZ ) of 92% (by volume) and that works a treat.

            hiccup...

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            • #7
              Re: Limoncello

              Yikes! I never had any that strong. Thanks for another education.

              James, if you ever get out to Capri on one of your Italian work trips, they sell a lot of different varieties. All great!
              GJBingham
              -----------------------------------
              Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

              -

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Limoncello

                Originally posted by gjbingham View Post
                James, if you ever get out to Capri on one of your Italian work trips, they sell a lot of different varieties. All great!
                George, exactly. For me this all started with a spring break trip to Sorrento a number of years ago. I've never seen so many people in one place at one time. I thought the island of Capri was going to sink. :-) Still, everyone was having a great time being up close and personal.

                Those thick skinned lemons are very cool.
                James
                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Limoncello

                  Originally posted by KiwiPete View Post
                  Hi Guys,

                  We've been making (and drinking) limoncello for a number of years now.
                  From the research I've done, it is better to have a high strength alcohol. The higher the better, since the stronger the alcohol is, the better it is at leeching out all the essential oils and colour from the lemons

                  From my experience, vodka of 50% (by volume or 100% proof) is about the minimum you should use. The vodka is mentioned in a lot of recipes because that is the strongest you can buy in a lot of countries.

                  I use a home distilled alcohol (yes, it is legal in NZ ) of 92% (by volume) and that works a treat.

                  hiccup...
                  Hi KiwiPete

                  May I ask what kind of a distiller that you use? If it is a commercial unit. Can it be purchased on the net?

                  Randy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Limoncello

                    Illegal in the US mannextdoor. That doesn't mean you can't do it, it just isn't legal. There's got to be many plans available on the web for building a still. Probably easier to buy the Everclear or Stolies 120 proof vodka.

                    James,
                    Cool place Capri, huh? I've got to go back there. August must be insane there. The trip I took from Sorrento across to the island was on a hydrofoil on a very rough day. There were a 150 people barfing in sea sickness bags all the way across. Fun to see, in a perverse sort of way!
                    GJBingham
                    -----------------------------------
                    Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                    -

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Limoncello

                      I should have been more precise in what I wrote: I steep the lemon peels in high strength alcohol to get the maximum colour/flavour extraction. Then later on I cut it down with the sugar syrup and/or more water to the final strength of about 30% (by volume). Sorry for the misunderstanding..

                      And yes, in the US buying Everclear is probably a better option..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Limoncello

                        That sounds better. Somewhere around 60 proof, 30% by volume makes a nice digestivo. Make sure its ice cold for those hot summer nights. Idescribeably delicious! Salute!
                        GJBingham
                        -----------------------------------
                        Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                        -

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Limoncello

                          Well, organic lemons were on sale, so I couldn't pass this recipe up. I'm now 40 days into it.

                          I'm a nerd when it comes to glass-ware, having fallen into the marketing scam of Reidel (different glass shape for every wine)

                          Does anyone know the proper glass to serve Limoncello in?
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                          • #14
                            Re: Limoncello

                            We bought some limoncello recently and while my husband liked it, I thought it tasted disgusting. Yours looks very different from the store variety though ... does this mean it tastes different too - maybe better - worth another try, this time homemade?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Limoncello

                              Originally posted by mfiore View Post
                              Well, organic lemons were on sale, so I couldn't pass this recipe up. I'm now 40 days into it.

                              I'm a nerd when it comes to glass-ware, having fallen into the marketing scam of Reidel (different glass shape for every wine)

                              Does anyone know the proper glass to serve Limoncello in?
                              I've made it twice, myself. It's better with the higher proof vodka than the lower one. I know some people use everclear, but I think the vodka is fine. We keep it in the freezer in those funny little beer bottles with the rubber stoppers with the wire bails.

                              As for serving it, we use plain shot glasses. Not really spiffy, but then, most of my glasses don't match, although I do have different ones for red and white wine!

                              I personally love Limoncello, but my husband likes grappa. He fell in love with a smoked grappa last time we were in Italy. I think grappa tastes like lighter fluid, though. I much prefer lemon pledge. (what my mom calls limoncello)
                              Elizabeth

                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

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