For the second year in a row, my husband has decided to make homemade Limoncello which will be ready just in time for the warm weather! Limoncello is a traditional, lemon-flavored, Italian liqueur that is often served ice cold before or after a meal. I am sure it also tastes delicious in champagne, served over fruit or with soda as is sometimes suggested but like a good scotch, I didn’t dare dilute it. Last summer, we just sipped a small glass on our back deck after dinner many nights, savoring every last drop. The bright, refreshing lemon flavor makes you feel like a warm, sunny day. It just tastes happy.
Good Limoncello takes 80 days to make. Vasili is the perfect type for such an undertaking as he is measured and patient. If it weren’t for him, I would never have enjoyed the intense flavor of a good Limoncello. I am the type that gets so excited about tasting something that I cut a corner out of every fresh baked good straight out of the oven even though it is too hot to truly taste and frequently burns my tongue. I just get so excited! If this weren’t his project, you can bet I would be cracking open the jar for tastes along the way and prematurly jumping to the next steps. So, he handles the liqueur making in our family and as I watched and photographed him meticulously preparing the lemons and carefully cutting off the strips of yellow rind, I could see it has become a labor of love.
Limoncello, Part 1
1 750ml bottles, 100 proof vodka (You’ll need a 2nd bottle for part 2)
1 gallon glass container with tight lid
Wash all of the lemons thoroughly being sure to scrub the skins to remove all wax, stamps and stickers. Pour the 750 ml bottle of vodka into the glass container. Peel or grate all of the skin off all of the lemons being careful only to retrieve the fragrant yellow zest, not the white layer underneath which is bitter. Drop all rind in the jar with the vodka. Tighten up the lid and put the glass container away in a cool, dark place for the next 40 days.
Get yours started this week and prepare to tune in for Part 2 in 40 days. We will all be barefoot and fancy free sipping delicious liqueur come spring! But for now, good night sweet Limoncello. Sleep tight.