Limoncello is an Italian drink that exemplifies something that I love about Italy…the tradition of lingering over a meal and drawing it out in as many ways as possible while enjoying the company of whoever you’re with. Limoncello is a cordial that I saw on every restaurant menu when I was in Rome…a ‘digestivo’ intended to be sipped slowly after you’ve finished your tiramisu, panna cotta or cannoli.
So, when Nathan suggested we try making limoncello I was all for it and had visions of enjoying limoncello after dinner on our balcony during the summer months to come. I had no idea it would be so easy though! Limoncello is made from lemon zest steeped in vodka until the oil from the lemon zest is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup…that’s it! It came out tasting like the limoncello I remember drinking in Rome…very sweet, very lemony and very strong. If you’re looking for ways to bring the ‘bella vita’ home try making this tasty drink!
Zest of 10 lemons
750ml bottle of 100 proof vodka
750ml of simple syrup
1. Zest the lemons being careful not to include any of the white pith (this will make your limoncello bitter).
2. Pour vodka into a large sealable container (we used a ball jar) with the lemon zest and seal. Let rest for two weeks shaking once every day.
3. After two weeks the vodka should be yellow and the lemon zest should be white. When this happens, strain the lemon zest out of the vodka.
4. Make 750ml of simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water on your stove until the sugar is dissolved. Add simple syrup to the lemon infused vodka slowly until, tasting as you go, until you have reached your desired level of sweetness. Most recipes call for equal parts simple syrup to infused vodka but like things a little less sweet so we ended up using about 500ml of the simple syrup.
5. You now have limoncello! Enjoy!