The Limoncello Project

 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.

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 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.

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10 thoughts to “The Limoncello Project”

  1. Well, I haven’t had the store bought Limoncella in quite a while, but I think it tasted the same. Very lemony, very sweet, with that kick of really strong alcohol.

  2. I am off on the Orient-Express on Saturday (Rome to Venice) & I noticed they stock Limoncello. I remember from a wedding in Lucca that it’s lethal: strong, more-ish, sticky.

    Hope you survive.

  3. We had a great time making (and, especially drinking) Limoncello & Mandarincello here in Antibes. We\’ve spent enjoyable evenings doing taste tests with other friends who enjoy making it also. It\’s very popular down here and usually offered at the end of dinner parties, coming directly out of the freezer. Your entry has reminded me that we are due to make another batch. Thanks & Salut !

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