I've discovered how to make Homemade Limoncello liqueur. It's lemon season and I have so many lemons! I'm getting pretty creative on ways to use my lemons from my lemon trees.
What is Limoncello?
Limoncello is an Italian palate cleanser or after dinner digestivo. Limoncello is a very popular liqueur in Italy, and surprisingly easy to make. You only need patience for the time it takes for the essential oils from the lemons to steep into the vodka.
Making it at home allows you to control the sweetness and the alcohol content. The higher the alcohol content you use to make Limoncello, the better the lemon flavor is extracted.
Ideally you need to use Everclear, a 151 proof grain alcohol, but thats not available in Australia. 100 proof or 80 proof vodka is fine to use. The more sugar syrup you add, the lower the alcohol content due to dilution. Adjust the levels of sugar syrup to your personal taste.
Who else infuses Vodka?
Russian vodka infusions are called Nastoyka (настойка), which is basically what this recipe is, but is how Limoncello is commonly made. I've made a Nastoyka made from Kumquat fruit, which you can find here. This method of extracting plants into alcohol is called a tincture. It's known around the world for medicinal purposes. Makes me wonder if that's how Limoncello started?
What Lemons to Use for Limoncello?
I don't think the type of lemon you use makes a difference, just use a good quality lemon. Unwaxed organic if possible, as store bought lemons usually have a wax that needs to be washed off. I used a Meyer Lemon for this Limoncello recipe. When zesting the lemon peels, be careful not to remove the whites of the lemon. Using the white piths will ruin the taste of your Limoncello.
Now that you know how to make Homemade Limoncello, enjoy in moderation, like a dessert wine or ice wine, or mix with soda water or mineral water. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 12 organic lemons
- 1 litre of Vodka preferred 100 proof
- 1 to 4 cups of sugar for simple syrup
- 1 to 4 cups of water for simple syrup
- Wash the lemons with hot water to remove any wax or pesticides (if not organic)
- Carefully zest or peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler, carefully so not to remove the bitter white pith from the lemons. Using the white pith will ruin your Limoncello.
- Add the vodka into a large glass jar with a lid.
- Add the lemon zest peels and close the lid. Allow to sit for 4 weeks in a cool dark place. The longer it sits, the better the taste will be.
- Strain the vodka through a fine mesh sieve or through a cheesecloth.
- Add 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar and bring to a gentle boil for approx 5 minutes, until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Add 1 cup to lemon mixture and taste. Gradually add more sugar syrup, up to 4 cups, as per your taste. The more water you add, you dilute the alcohol base, but increase the sweetness.
- Using a funnel, bottle the Limoncello in bottles of your choice with a lid. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month, for keep in the freezer for up to a year.