Three months ago my friend Carol and I started the process of making homemade limoncello. After three gatherings in the process, a pile of lemons completely hulled, all of our cuticles burning, and almost a bit tispy from taste testing, we’re finally done.
Making limoncello is a family event. Carol’s two girls even helped by zesting a pile of lemons. They, however, made homemade lemonade for their final product . Here are a few pictures of the process, special thanks to Carol, Tom, Laney, and Natalie for helping!
Limoncello is the perfect sipping drink for the summer time. As Josh pulls out some whiskey to sip on a late summer evening, I grab for a little limoncello over ice. This recipe has much less sugar than most, letting more of the citrus flavor shine. If you happen upon lemons in bulk you should definitely try this recipe. Though it does take a while for the complete process, its not too difficult and so rewarding to have some homemade liquor on hand to share with friends.
Homemade Limoncello Recipe
- 2 750 ml Vodka bottles high quality 100 proof, 1.5 liters
- 18 organic lemons ratio is 6 lemons per half liter
- 3.5 cups sugar
- 5 cups water
First Stage- Lemon Zest + Vodka
- Wash lemons then zest the lemons and set aside. Filter the vodka (unless you bought already filtered). You can use a water filter for this. Combine zest and liquor into one gallon glass jar, screw lid on tight.
Second Stage- Adding Sugar
- 45 days later, shake the zest/vodka mixture up. Make simple syrup by boiling the sugar with the water until the sugar is dissolved. Add half of the simple syrup then taste and add additional syrup to taste. (I ended up only adding half of the simple syrup and it was sweet enough for me). You can always add more sweetness as you make cocktails with the limoncello later.
Final Stage - Filtering
- 45 days later, filter the liquor through a screen mesh or permanent coffee filter, then through an unbleached paper coffee filter. Sterilize the bottles you plan on storing the liquor in. Pour the lemoncello into the prepared bottles using a funnel to prevent a mess. Finally, pour yourself a drink or hop in the car to deliver some lemoncello to your closest friends.
Note that we also tried a Meyer Lemon batch that ended up tasting like kitchen cleaner. So, go for the regular lemons and save your Meyers for a sweet dessert!