Fresh, vibrant, tart. An electric, citrus jolt, if you will—that’s what I think when I hear the word lemon. Limoncello, on the other hand, makes me think of a warm, breezy night on the Amalfi Coast being half drunk on syrupy sweet lemon juice. Balance the harsh with the dreamy and there along that line you will find limoncello.
I think the first time I ever had #limoncello, I was probably five or six. It was just a little sip. Sweet but still potent enough to make me wince, things have since changed. I can count on limoncello to be an easy shot. A smooth and silky hit of flavour on my tongue. Maybe that’s not just because I have matured, but also grown to love citrus.
I love lemons. Seriously. When I gaze into the future, or more aptly, daydream, I imagine myself with a family and kids and a big, beautiful lemon tree in the backyard of our Italian villa—What?! This is a fantasy after all and God knows a girl can dream!
My affinity for lemons is a shared sentiment with most. With a burst of sour punch, they add needed acid to dishes when cooking and even act as a great palate cleanser. Plus, not to mention that they just symbolize all the goodness of summer.
Wanting to bottle up those allusions of the solstice, I grabbed a bottle of vodka and some fresh lemons and decided to create my own Amalfi oasis in a glass. After much zesting and peeling, I added my citrus scraps to the vodka and let it rest for a week.
Though traditional limoncello is made with grain liquor, which has a higher volume of alcohol, vodka is a comparable substitute. The main difference being the glowing yellow colour that the grain liquor creates when the simple syrup is added. However, this recipe still gives quite a gorgeous colour.
I guess it’s not surprising that I have literally been making my own limoncello since the end of April! With such little effort required and such a lovely yield, it’s definitely worth trying to make. Even if i’m short on lemons and only have oranges or tangerines, the recipe works just as well so feel free to experiment!
Drink it on its own as a shot or on the rocks, or even add it to spritzers and cocktails. Hell, I’ll even drizzle some in a fruit salad or on top of a bowl of ice cream if I’m feeling particularly cheeky!
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* Makes 1 large bottle (approx. 600 mL) *
500 ml of vodka (I used Absolut because that’s what I had on hand)
3 lemons, peeled
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Add the lemon rinds to a bottle of vodka. You may need to transfer the vodka to a different container depending on how large the bottle top is...this could make taking the rinds out difficult if the opening is too small.
Let the vodka infuse for one week in a cool place.
After a week, remove the citrus peels from the vodka and strain out any floating particles left behind.
Next, add sugar and water to a small pot and let dissolve completely. Be careful not to let boil as the sugar will harden.
Add your simple syrup to your infused vodka and let chill in the fridge.
Enjoy on its own or in a cocktail!
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Are you a lemon lover? Give this DIY a try!