Summer is coming and this is one of those recipes that takes eight weeks from start to finish, so I thought we should get started. The recipe is from a little book called jam it, pickle it, cure it by Karen Solomon. I’ll write the recipe as given but highlight a few tips.
Tip number one: The recipe calls for 8 lemons. Just buy 4 the first time because you’ll be using the zest from only 4 of the lemons to add to the vodka. It has to sit for 2 weeks, so there’s no need to waste the others.
Tip two: Plan on making lemonade or something with the juice of the first four lemons. You’ll only be using the zest.
Prep Ahead- You’ll need a clean, odor-free, wide-mouthed glass jar with a tight fitting lid for the infusion process.
8 lemons (remember, only get 4 for infusion process)
1 1/2 cups vodka (purchase pretty good stuff. Your limoncello will only taste better)
1 cup sugar (make sure its white sugar. Some organic sugar isn’t white and your beverage will be kind of gray and cloudy looking)
1 cup water
Instructions: Peel the zest from 4 of the lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler, trying to avoid as much of the white pith as you can. Pour the vodka into the jar, and add the zest. Seal and label the jar, and let sit for 2 weeks, shaking daily, then strain out and discard the lemon zest.
---Now go buy those other 4 lemons---
To make simple syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan, and heat just until all of the sugar is dissolved. It is imperative to let this cool completely. You can expedite the cooling process by moving the syrup to a glass bowl and stirring constantly, or refrigerating it for at least 30 minutes.
Tip: I used a potato masher to really squeeze out every drop of juice.
Add the lemon syrup to the infused vodka.
How to Store it
Store in a cool, dark place or in the freezer almost indefinitely. The high alcohol content will keep it from freezing.
Last tip: Since I obviously purchased all 8 lemons the first time, I decided to double the batch. One 750ml bottle of Vodka is about 3 cups so it worked out just fine. The house smells lemony and wonderful and in about 6 weeks we’ll sit outside in the sun (!!) and toast the beautiful weather with our limoncello. Enjoy!!