Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hellooooo Limoncello!

A few weeks back, I decided to make use of something in the old cabinet. Seeing as how a good friend of mine had given me some Everclear from Oregon, I decided it was high time to put it to good use. What better what to do that with than with some home made liqueur? I opted to go for Limoncello is a fine lemon infused drink indigenous to Southern Italy, and I have a very handy Meyer lemon tree in the yard.

Two good recipes for it are online, both by fine American newspapers, one from the New York Times, the Other from the Washington Post. The latter was the option I went with, seeing as how I had the aforementioned everclear. Turned out ok I must say.

The limoncello was sweet, strong and like candy. The character of the Meyer lemon zest really came through, adding to the sweetness of the sugar the infused alcohol was steeped in. See these glass below? Yeah that's way more than you need to drink. This stuff is thick, so if you do get a chance, try it out a smidgen at a time.

However, this blog isn't simply show and tell. If it was, that'd be too damn easy for me, for you, for everyone. And I like to do things the hard way, so bear along with me.

Seeing as how California doesn't have an appreciably liberal Everclear policy, for my second batch of limoncello follows the NY times version, using some good Kirkland Signature Vodka. If someone should tell me if I should say that sincerely or tongue in cheek, please let me know.

I reduced to use 250 ml of vodka instead of the huge measure. As I consider meyers a bit smaller than grocery store lemons, I upped the number. More lemon zest never hurt an alcohol recipe as far as I know.

Cut off the tips and ends of the lemons for easier handling.

Here's the liquor I used, as I threatened earlier.
I decided to use a Microplane Box Grater to really get the skin off into thin strips, for better flavor transfer, or that's the theory anyway.

A good shake into the large bowl. Handy hint, I used the vodka I was using to wash the bits off of the grate so as not to waste anything.
Done. Beautiful isn't it? Now cap it and let it sit for about two weeks.

Bam! Now to strain it.
And get every last bit out. 
I gave the mass of lemon zest a good squeeze with my hands, hoping to extract any last vestiges of goodness hiding, got a few drops out of it.
And now, we wait. For three more weeks. I'll report then!

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