So, one of my secret loves is Limoncello. This is truly a lemon lovers drink. Problem is, it’s so pricey. The husband of a friend of mine gave me a recipe for something he calls “Bug Juice” (thanks Rick). Bug Juice is delicious! He makes his with raspberries (though, I hear he’s been experimenting). Really what “Bug Juice” is, is a vodka infusion which becomes a liqueur or cordial. So, I did some research to see if it could be done with lemons… I discovered the recipe for Limoncello is nearly identical. With that in mind I sat out to see if it would work. It does!!! The homemade Limoncello is not only better (DELICIOUS), it’s a fraction of the cost of buying the pre-made stuff (and it’s DELICIOUS). Yes, it’s a bit of work (did I say it was DELICIOUS?). Yes, it requires patience (it takes four weeks)(and it’s DELICIOUS). But, in the end… you will be glad you did it! Trust me on this, it’s delicious!!!
2 Fifths of Vodka (any brand will do)
8 cups of granulated sugar
12 Lemons, zested
Zest each lemon using the entire yellow part. Pay attention because this is important… DO NOT get any of the white part (the pith) in the zest (it causes bitterness). You will need a glass container (we got ours at World Market). Pour in the sugar. Add the vodka (but save the empty bottles you will need them to store your Limoncello in when it is done)…
Then, add the lemon zest… Since you have to shake the container every day for two weeks, we always put a few layers of plastic wrap over the opening. We do this before we close the lid to help make the container leak proof (you won’t want to lose a drop of this, trust me). Close the lid and make sure it’s sealed. Now shake the container real well. Then, set it aside on the counter where you will remember to give it a good shake each day. After two weeks (shaking it each day), it will start taking on the yellow hue of the lemon zest. For the following two weeks, let it rest (no more shaking). When the four week period is up, strain the Limoncello into a clean container (we use a pitcher), then pour into awaiting bottles. This usually makes 3 bottles of Limoncello give or take a little.
You can serve it over ice, in iced tea or lemonade. This is soooo wonderful you will never BUY Limoncello again! Enjoy!
*As a side note, I will post pictures periodically of the progress of the Limoncello I made in this post. This way you will know what it should look like at a different stages. When it’s all done, I will post again showing how we strain and bottle it.
**Another side note, in the picture above I have a small batch of Blueberry going. When it is done I will post recipes for those types of vodka infusions.