During Thanksgiving, my in-laws brought up a giant box of their home grown lemons. I knew immediately those perfectly virgin rinds would make a perfectly flavored limoncello.
I took que from CHOW and Martha Stewart and made this wonderful liqueur as gifts for friends on Christmas.
With an ingredient list of only 4 items, how could you find an excuse not to make it? Keep in mind you'll need a week to let the lemons and vodka do their thing, so plan ahead if giving it as a gift.
Why do you need limoncello in your freezer? Because it's good. How do you serve it? Traditionally, served up neat, in a chilled cordial glass. But I like it mixed with a chilled cava. Or with orange juice and seltzer.
The process for making it is really quite easy.
1. Peel about a dozen lemons, trying to only take the yellow part of the rind. Too much white rind can make it turn bitter.
2. Stick those rinds into a big jar. Pour in a bottle of Everclear 151. The higher proof the better.
3. Give a little shakey-shake (with the lid on of course) and store in a dark, cool place, like your cupboard. Shake and burp (open the lid) once a day for a week.
4. Mix 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water in a saucepan for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and it's thickened up a bit. Let cool.
5. Strain your jar of lemon vodka through a cheesecloth lined fine mesh sieve. It will take a little time to let it all strain through. Be patient. You want a nice clear liquid in the end.
6. Take your lemon liquid and your simple syrup and mix together. Pour into decorative jars (or one big one for yourself) and dress it up with these labels I made for you.
7. Store in the freezer and give when you need an elegant, original gift, or pull out when you're having friends over for brunch.