Crave – food & drink

Limoncello is crisp, fragrant and the color of sunshine. It’s a great way to get a dash of summer brightness without the UV rays. Serve it after dinner or anytime really.

Recipe – Limoncello

  • 10 lemons (regular lemons or Meyer lemons)
  • 750 ml vodka (preferably 80 proof; e.g. Skyy Vodka)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

Wash the lemons with water and a vegetable brush to remove any dirt, residue or wax; pat the lemons dry.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the yellow peel from the lemons in long strips. (Try to make sure there is no white pith on the peel. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is bitter and will spoil your limoncello.)

[Note: After the lemons are peeled, you can reserve them for another use. If you don't have an immediate use, squeeze the lemon juice into an ice cube tray. Freeze and store the cubes for future use.]

Place the lemon peels in a glass jar. Pour the vodka over the peels and seal the jar. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 10 days at room temperature in a dark place. Do NOT shake.

Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves (approximately 5 minutes). Remove sugar syrup from heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour sugar syrup over vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Using a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth, strain limoncello into a large glass bowl or pitcher. Discard the peels. Transfer limoncello into a clean empty 1.5 ml bottle (or several smaller bottles). Seal the bottle(s), refrigerate and chill, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.

Side note: I used Meyer lemons this summer in my limoncello. I’ll try regular lemons next time.

Coming up in Dark Surf Nightly… Cocktail recipes for your limoncello!