Limoncello is an Italian Lemon Liqueur mainly produced around the coast of Amalfi. It is made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar. It’s bright yellow in color and sweet with a very lemon flavor.
Limoncello is cheap and easy to produce requiring only sugar, water, lemon rind, alcohol, and some time to mature. Homemade limoncello can be made from vodka, but stronger alcohol is better at extracting all the oil flavors from the lemon peel.
Limoncello is traditionally served chilled as an after dinner digestivo. This tradition can be found in many other parts of Italy, not just the Amalfi coast.
- 10 lemons
- 1 750 ml bottle of vodka
- 2.5 cups sugar
- 3.5 cups water
Wash the lemons thoroughly. If possible, use a vegetable cleaner to help eliminate any wax or pesticide residue that may still exist on the lemons. Use a vegetable peeler to peel thin strips of lemon peel leaving as much of the pith on the lemon as possible. The pith will impart a very bitter flavor to the limoncello.
Place the peels in a pitcher or wide mouthed bottle about 2 quarts in size. Note that in the picture above, a bottle is used that isn’t ideal. Glass or ceramic is the preferred medium here. Cover the container and let sit for a week as to allow all the lemon oils to seep into the vodka. As the days go by, you will notice that the lemon rinds begin to loose their color and become white.
Once the week has gone by, dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat. Let cool to room temperature. Strain the vodka and lemon mixture into the simple syrup and discard the peels.
Refrigerate and enjoy.