"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Monday, December 30, 2013

Limoncello



Here is one of the first posts I ever wrote.  I can't believe it has been this long since I started blogging (this post is from December 2008).  My lemons, blood oranges, limes, oranges, grapefruits and on and on are ready once again and the kinds of citrus I grow has grown exponentially. I haven't made this in years as we rarely drink. Nevertheless, here it goes again...

Well, it's that time again. My Meyer lemons are ripening and it's time to make hooch.  I have had this on a beach in Italy and my own concoction, but to tell the truth, I think limoncello tastes like lemon gasoline.  Whew!  The Italians say they drink it after meals as a digestive. This will grow hair on your chest, clear up allergies, coughs; a real magic potion for whatever ails you or maybe you just won't care and get a little limon-mellow. I think I made 4 gallons of the stuff last year. It really tastes best on hot summer days but what the heck, have it drizzled over a mango sorbet or whatever your preference might be. It is also good mixed with tonic or my personal fave, mixed with champagne. So, enough said. Here is the recipe.

17 large lemons
2 750 milliliter bottles grain alcohol
51/2 cups water
6 cups sugar
Wash and dry the lemons. With a good vegetable peeler, remove only the yellow rind of the lemon. Do not get any of the white pith as this will make your limoncello bitter. Place the lemon peels in a 4 quart Mason jar with a rubber-seal lid. Add the grain alcohol. Store in a cool dark place swirling the mixture daily for approximately 2 weeks. When you can hear the peels making a funny noise, check the peels and if they break just like a potato chip, it is ready for the next step. All of the essential oil will have been extracted into the alcohol. Place a colander over a large bowl and line with a paper towel or coffee filters. Pour the alcohol and peels into the colander and let drain. Discard the peels. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring until it is dissolved. Cover and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the alcohol mixture back to the mason jar and add the cooled sugar water stirring to combine. Store for a month in a cool dark place. After a month, transfer the limoncello to smaller bottles that can be sealed with rubber stoppers or corks. Store the bottles in the freezer. Serve directly from the freezer.
The longer the limoncello sits, the mellower it becomes. It will last in the freezer for at least a year and I've read indefinitely. The internet has many many recipes for limoncello and sites where you can even buy supplies. Make sure that all your equipment is clean ( I know you wouldn't use dirty equipment) but there are airborne yeasts and other little thingys that you need to be aware of so clean is the watchword. I read that the best limoncello is made with the lemons that have green rinds so I experimented last winter and the only thing I could tell is that the limoncello was green instead of yellow. I certainly am not a connoisseur of limoncello so you can read up and let me know. Just in case someone out there might not know, grain alcohol is like 100 proof and this limoncello is very potent so remember, just a little drinky winky.
I thought since I was at it, I would share one more recipe for Crema di limoncello. To a liter of limoncello, stir in 1 tablespoon of vanilla and 21/2 cups of heavy cream. Store in refrigerator for a few days. You can certainly experiment if you please -add more sugar or less cream; this is just a basic recipe for the Crema. Chin chin, y'all.

9 comments:

  1. Oh yum. I bought Limoncello after seeing it in Under The Tuscan Sun (my fav) and I love the stuff, but never thought about having it with champagne...will try that...YUM Thanks

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  2. Oh wow that sounds delicious, I'm a great fan of lemon generally. Had it in Italy and it's to die for, you must have great weather if your lemons are ripening now!?

    Having a trawl through your posts it all looks wonderful, but a nightmare for a Weightwatcher!

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  3. I do believe that is almost exactly the same time I started blogging as well. Well Happy Anniversary to us! My first taste of Limoncello was in the Cinque Terre in Italy. We bought pasta and sauce and salad to take back to our little rented apt and a couple of tiny bottles of Limoncello to have afterward. The next day I went back and got a larger bottle. Wishing you a most Happy New Year!

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  4. I think it is very pretty but looks can be deceiving. That concoction will definitely grow hair on your chest and curl your toes too! I think I would pass on the alcohol in the mixture... but then, that would defeat the purpose wouldn't it?

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  5. That sounds very tempting ... I will now have to try some !
    All the best to you in 2014 .

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  6. I love limoncello. Yum! Thanks for the tips about the champagne, and then the cream with vanilla.
    I have used it on on the peaches and plums from my parent's trees in the summer … adding some berries. Best dessert ever. :)

    Happy New Year Donna!!!

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  7. My husband loves this.. he is very careful though and it is once in a blue moon now..
    I would be happy just havin 1 lemon I grew..:)
    You lucky Meyer Lemonlady.

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  8. I, too, think the stuff must have come up one of those gushers in some oil-bearing area. And I LOVE the simple syrup made with peel, or just a thin sliver rubbed around the inside top-inch of my tea glass.

    But I'd LOVE like anything to have your thumb for the citrus---DBIL scritches his ginormous pots of Meyers and grapefruit and oranges in and out of the garage every year (they're in South Texas) and I so envy just stepping out to the portable grove for a super-fresh piece of fruit.

    Now, why do I hear Giada's lip-smack and the word Lee-mon-CHAY-lo echoing in my head?

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  9. I adore Limoncello - we have a bottle in the freezer as I write this! (Although with the deep freeze we are having I could put it outside on the back deck and maybe take a swig while I'm at it!)

    Thanks for this lovely recipe - wishing you all things good in the New Year!!

    xo
    Amanda

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