How to make limoncello from homegrown lemons
It’s winter and there’s not a lot happening in the veggie patch at this time of year. It’s cold and miserable with very little to harvest. The good news is, however, that now’s a great time to get planning for the warmer months to come.
The one fruit that is in abundance right now is citrus. And I love citrus for this exact reason. Citrus trees provide fruit when very little else is available and they nourish you with those much-needed vitamins when it’s cold and chilly outside.
I’m also a huge lover of citrus because of the saying ‘when life gives you lemons… make limoncello’.
Limoncello is the perfect drink to evoke summery nights.
It reminds me of warm, balmy evenings playing Italian card games, throwing back an espresso and munching on biscotti while sipping on this drink.
Limoncello is normally made with a grain alcohol but this recipe substitutes vodka, as it’s more readily available. Michele (Mike) is an Australian friend who is more Italian than many of my relatives. This recipe is dedicated to him.
Recipe: Michele’s Limoncello
1 x 750ml bottle of standard vodka (37% proof)
250-300g white sugar
Boiling water to dissolve sugar
Makes 1.25-1.5 litres
- Give the lemons a good wash with warm water using a scrubbing brush, and then dry them with paper towel.
- Gently zest or peel the lemons – you don’t want any white pith on the zest, as this will make your limoncello bitter.
- Place the zest in a large, clean jar and pour in the vodka. Set the jar aside in a cool, dark place such as the pantry for at least a week, and up to 45 days. Strain the vodka through a fine sieve to remove the zest or peel.
- Next you will make a sugar syrup. Place the sugar in a heatproof bowl and pour a little boiling water over it. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Mix the sugar syrup with the infused vodka.
- Pour the mixture into sterilised glass bottles and label.
- Chill the limoncello in the freezer before drinking.