Fingers crossed... making limoncello!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    A bunch of my friends in my monthly dinner group enjoy having limoncello occasionally. They introduced me to it and, well, let's just say I enjoyed a little too much of it and am kinda turned off the stuff now.

    But a few weeks ago our local paper published a recipe for this in time for holiday gift giving, so I thought I'd give it a go and wrap up some little bottles for my pals :)

    I have never attempted anything like this before, but in all honesty, the recipe seems like a no brainer, so I'm fairly optimistic this will work out fine.

    Got the lemons all peeled tonight and they've begun their lengthy soaking process in grain alcohol (20 days, add some simple syrup, then soak 20 more days).

    I'll let you know how it turns out!
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm impressed...all I'm making is gourmet dog biscuits. So far they've passed the Buddy test, and I'm waiting on my focus group (Keira and Kharmine) to weigh in. I do have the sprinkles, now I just need the white chocolate or the yogurt chips for dipping.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I want the recipe Chicken Lady. Mary, let me know how the doggy biscuits turn out ~ I may give these gifts for my siblings fur babies.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That's not quite the one I use. I got this recipe from my friend Franco who is from Sicily. It's the real deal. (And it could be ready to serve on Thanksgiving!)

    Scrub ten lemons in a sink full of soapy water, then rinse. Peel making sure to not include the pith. (I use a potato peeler.) You can also use oranges to make "Arancello".
    Soak peelings in 1 liter of Everclear (or any other brand "pure grain alcohol") for 10 days. (DON'T use vodka, it will taste bad.)

    After ten days are up drain the liquid and discard the peels. Make a simple syrup of 6 1/3 cups water and 6 1/2 cups sugar. Blend with the alcohol, and you can drink this immediately. No need to let it sit for any more time. Stash in the freezer.

    Even using the recipe you have, I would only soak for 10 days and call it good. You're not going to get any more flavor out of it by soaking it longer. If you want to make Christmas gifts, I suggest getting to Cost Plus or Kitchen Kaboodle or even the Goodwill now. There won't be cute little bottles available a few weeks before Christmas.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ok I've been staring at the title of this post long enough. I'm game enough to look the idiot................So?? What is limoncello???
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I did use Everclear for this, Witz. Sounds like the only difference is the amount of time the peelings steep and the amount of sugar for the syrup. Hmmmm. I'll probably end up shortening the time anyway because our group is getting together on 12/14. I'm going to start out with my recipe's amount for the sugar and then I'll see how it tastes. I can always add more!

    The BevMo guy recommended Cost Plus for the bottles, so I'll probably head out there this week. Thanks for sharing your version! I've read that you can use this for orange peel, too (arancello). Oooh... now I'm getting some ideas for all the pomegranates we have from our bushes!
  8. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Pretty cool. I never thought about making a licquor. I bet it's good.
    Maybe I'll do something like this with biscotti's as a little gift for neighbors.
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Do you put it in the refrig for those 10 to 20 days to soak?
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    No need to refrigerate, Fran. Just on the counter out of the way is fine. Just be sure that you use a glass container, it will eat right through plastic. Not really, but it will ruin your plastic and pick up the taste.

    Lisa, Limoncello is an Italian Lemon Liqueur. It is SO refreshing. Like I say, I keep mine in the freezer, and it does not freeze. But you have to be careful, it packs a powerful punch! Most people sip it after dinner, but it's delicious added to Limonata (sparkling lemon Italian soda) over ice.
  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thanks Witz. I think I'll try making it. It will be a nice gift. I can't drink liquors like this unless it's after dinner and in pretty small doses.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Thanks Witz. Sounds interesting. But since I haven't been able to drink in years............I'll have to leave it to you ladies. lol
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What Witz said. :D

    The recipe just said to store it in a cool, dark place. It's 151 proof (75% alcohol), so NOTHING can survive in it :tongue: It's only been steeping for 1 day and already the liquid is bright yellow!
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    So... I went shopping for bottles and there were NONE that were small enough at Cost Plus World Market, none at Pier 1 Imports, none at Walmart or Target (I wanted something between 3-5oz). Found some at Michael's but they did not indicate they were food-safe. Soooo, I went online and actually found a bottle distributor not too far from my town. Paid about $10 for 12 five-oz. bottles plus caps, including tax. I got some cute little glass lemon and leaf beads and will wire some around the neck of the bottles, then wrap in a cellophane bag. The totall cost per 5oz. bottle gifted will be about $5. I think that's pretty good!
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Everclear is 180 proof (90%) You can strip furniture with that! If anyone is trying this, don't spill it on your cutting board, it may split it. My little bamboo one is now white with a big splice down it. I'm going to have to check out a bottle distributor. Did you do a web search to find the place you used? Maybe I could get some ideas...
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Thisis an awesome idea. I LOVE the stuff. I once saw a cooking show where the cook said that each time she uses a lemon she takes the peel off and adds it to a bottle of grain alcohol (everclear). Every month or so she takes the peels out. When she is in the mood she mixes it with simple syrup half and half for limoncello or adds a shot to lemon soda or lemonade. Sort of like the way I make vanilla - just keep the beans covered in alcohol and let them stay in there.

    To make your little bottles look AMAZING and more professionally made, add a twist of lemon peel to each bottle. Just take a thin strip of lemon peel and curl it as you would for a drink, then add it to the little bottle. If you need help getting thin enough strips, either use a citrus zester and make long strips with it or use a potato peeler and then use a knife to cut it into thin strips. Even just one in the bottle will add a really nice touch.
  18. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    In my state, they are only allowed to sell the 151 proof (75.5% alcohol) version. The 190 proof (95% alcohol) can still be purchased in some states, though. I doubt there's much difference between them in the recipe.