Homemade Limoncello

“Liquid gold.”  That is the best way to describe this homemade limoncello.  It’s smooth, refreshing, and is oh-so-lemony.  In my opinion this drink is best enjoyed as an after-dinner sipping liquor (a little goes a long way!), but it’s also perfect for making a spritzer or adding to other cocktails.

This fantastic recipe comes from Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar.  I found this recipe several years ago on their blog, The Tuscan Gun, and have been making it ever since.  In the past 4 years my freezer has never been without a bottle of this limoncello…it’s that good!  And I’ve found that the longer it ages the smoother it gets, so I make sure my freezer is always well stocked.

And talk about an impressive homemade gift!  In previous years I’ve poured this limoncello into small bottles, added a cute tag, and given away to my friends and family.  I’ve certainly had no complains…well, except that maybe I should have used a larger bottle, ha!

The best thing about this recipe is how incredibly EASY it is!  It does take quite some time (and patience)…about 6 to 8 weeks from start to finish.  But the vast majority of that time is just waiting for the ingredients to work their magic.  The actual preparation is quick and easy!  And the end result?  Absolutely delicious!

 


Limoncello

Ingredients:

  • 2 (750 ml) bottles grain alcohol
  • Zest of 14 lemons
  • 4.5 cups sugar
  • 1.5 liters water

Directions:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the zest from the lemons.
  2. In several mason jars (or any container with a lid), combine the lemon zest and grain alcohol.  Tightly secure the lids and store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks.  (I usually store mine in the pantry.)
  3. After 2 weeks, strain the alcohol into a large bowl or pitcher and set aside.  Discard the lemon zest.
  4. In a large pot combine water and sugar.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and let cool.
  5. Add the cooled sugar water to the lemon infused alcohol and stir to combine.  Return the mixture to mason jars and tightly secure the lids.  Store the jars in a cool dark place for 4 – 6 weeks.
  6. Transfer the limoncello into bottles or containers of your choice and store in the freezer.
  7. Serve chilled in small shot glasses and enjoy!

Click HERE to get the original directions for this recipe on The Tuscan Gun!


Tip:  This recipe calls for just the zest of the lemons.  Don’t throw away those naked lemons!  You could, of course, use the leftover lemons to make a big batch of lemonade.  But here’s what I like to do…

Using a lemon juicer, I juice all 14 lemons into a small container and then transfer into ice cube trays.  Pop the trays in the freezer until the lemon juice is frozen.  Then transfer the lemon cubes to a large Ziplock bag and store in the freezer.  When you’re cooking a recipe that calls for fresh squeezed lemon juice and you don’t have any lemons on hand, grab a couple of cubes from your stash and throw them in your dish!  You’ll have fresh squeezed lemon juice ready to go at all times!

 

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