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Limoncello, Homemade Lemon Liqueur

Limoncello is one of those sips that instantly transports you back to where you first tasted it. In my case: sitting on the beach on the Amalfi coast with Jake during a three week trip to Italy just before we got pregnant with R. It reminds me of sunshine, sand, and a carefree time in our lives. Each time I make it, it's a delicious remembrance that one of these days we'll be kidfree and carefree again. Sooner than we think, actually. Well, maybe not the carefree part - that's a luxury of the young and naïve - but both of our boys will be launched at the end of the summer. And I will certainly lift a glass in celebration that we did it: We raised two boys who have grown up to be good young men who will make the world a better place! But this is about limoncello...

This particular batch was inspired by a lemon event at a local organic farm where we tasted three kinds of limoncello - one regular, one limoncello cream, and one with lavender.

I picked a ton of lemons at the farm and set out to make a lot of lemon deliciousness, including my own 2022 limoncello!

  • 20 organic lemons, washed and dried
  • 1.5 Liter bottle vodka (100-proof preferred, or 80-proof)
  • 1 to 4 cups sugar, to taste
  • 1 to 4 cups water
  • Also needed: sharp paring knife, half gallon jar with lid, strainer, small funnel, clean bottles
  • Optional: 1 vanilla bean sliced open lengthwise or 1 sprig of organic lavender

Peel the lemons with a sharp paring knife to get as much of the peel with as little of the pith as possible. Place the peels in a large lidded jar. If you are using a vanilla bean or lavender sprig, add that to the jar as well. Cover the peels with vodka and tighten the lid.

Let the vodka and lemon peels infuse, out of direct sunlight, for at least 4 weeks but as much as 6 months. The longer you infuse, the stronger the lemon flavor.
When you are done infusing, strain out the peels. Create a simple syrup with a ratio of 1:1 (sugar to water). I usually do 4 cups, then use only what I need.
Slowly add the simple syrup to the infused vodka, tasting as you go. The less you add, the thinner and more alcoholic it will taste; the more you add, the more syrupy and sweet it will taste.

When you are satisfied with your creation, use a funnel to pour the limoncello into clean bottles.

Limoncello can be stored in the fridge or the freezer for up to year, but I doubt it will last that long. Serve ice cold in very small glasses.

Cin cin!


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