Â Last year we were eating in an Italian restaurant and were given free apperatives. It was a light, lemon tinged liquor. After the meal I got the name so I could buy it for myself. I love anything sweet so it was no surprise when a French friend told me that most after dinner drinks, such as limoncello or Contreaux, had sugar in them, along with very potent alcohol. A few months later I saw on the Internet that you could make your own limoncello so I thought I would give it a try.
First you must buy a bottle of special alcohol for this although some people just use vodka.
Â This is what I bought.
Next you must get the peel off of a dozen lemons or so and, this is important, get off as much of the white part of the skin as you can as this can lead to bitterness. This is a real pain in the neck and took me a long time. The peel is added to the liquor and a glass container-I had to use jars as I can’t find any large containers in France. This mixture sits in a dark, cool place for 40 days, rather like Noah.
I marked my calendar and removed the mixture at the end of the time and the alcohol and turned a lovely yellow color. Then you make a sugar syrup with 4 1/2 cups of sugar and 5 cups of water that boils for 5 minutes, gets cooled down and then added to the lemon mixture. At this time-I misread the recipe-you add another bottle of the alcohol. Then it is another 40 days into the closet.
Take out the peels and strain the mixture and put it into cute bottles. I didn’t have any cute bottles so I reused the alcohol bottle and a couple of wine bottles. Maurice thinks the drink is way to sweet and so I bought some more alcohol to add to it but I sort of like that sweet thick lemon-ness.
So, would I do it again? Probably not. The bottle of alcohol cost me ten euros and I saw a bottle of limoncello at the store for thirteen euros. I don’t know if it was worth the savings of three euros for all of the labor I put into it, but it is sort of a voyage back in time before things weren’t very available in every store.