My freshly made Limoncello

So, the home I recently purchased in a rural area of Southern CA includes a lovely grove of citrus trees, Navel Oranges, Valencia Oranges, Lemons, and Grapefruit, and with all those beautiful lemons, I’ve come up with some great ideas.

The latest idea is for Homemade Limoncello. It’s been steeping for a little over 80 days, and today I bottled it, Yay! And the taste is quite nice, if I might say so myself.

If you find yourself with an abundance of lemons (or oranges because Orangecello is also quite nice), here’s how to make your own Limoncello.

Yield: 2 bottles

INGREDIENTS

15 lemons

1 bottle (750 ml) vodka, highest proof you can find

2 cups sugar

2.5 cups water

Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush to remove any wax or pesticides, then pat dry. Zest the lemons (a microplane zester grater like the one shown below is perfect for zesting) with a microplane or vegetable peeler, ensuring no white pith is included (it’s bitter).

In a large glass jar (1/2 gallon) add bottle of vodka, then add the lemon zest. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature in a cool, dark place for at least 10 days and up to 40 days (as I did). The longer it rests, the better the taste. No need to stir.

As the limoncello sits the vodka takes on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.

After this steep time, next we make the simple syrup to add. In a large saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook until thickened, around 10 minutes. Let the syrup cool. When cool, add to the limoncello mixture. Allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days.

After the rest period, strain (use cheesecloth and a funnel) and bottle (mine filled 2 bottles), discarding the lemon zest. Keep in freezer until ready to serve, chilled. I’ll be serving this for Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

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