There are tons of simple pleasures in life. Sipping on iced cold limoncello on the porch after a decadent dinner is a great example! During our short travel in Italy, almost every night ended with a nice glass of iced cold grappa or limoncello made by the chef’s mom or grandma. We enjoyed the refreshing digestif while people-watching and exchanging fun life stories. I looked up recipes to make my own batch once we returned home, yet our Meyer lemon tree hasn’t been cooperative. It is still in shock from our massive home remodeling a few years back and have been making a comeback very slowly, yielding very little fruit. As I slowly tested various recipes and measurements, I think I finally made a batch that I loved. Any varieties of lemon will work, I used Meyer lemon because I like its distinct flavor. Also traditional limoncello calls for grain alcohol but I used vodka in all the batches.
cute souvenir – A bottle of limoncello in the shape of a “cello”.
- 8 medium-sized organic Meyer lemon
- 2 cups good quality vodka
- 1.5-2 cups simple syrup (1.5 cup sugar to 2 cups water)
- Wash, clean, and dry the lemons thorougly.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the lemons in strips.
- Use a pairing knife and remove the white pith from the lemon peels. Place all the pith-free peels into a large non-reactive (glass or ceramic) bowl.
- Add two cups of vodka into the large bowl with the lemon peels. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store it in a cool and dark place for 4 weeks. Be patient! And if you are forgetful like me, mark the 4-week date on your calendar to remind you.
- After 4 weeks, strain the vodka through a fine mesh sieve into a large glass bowl, press down on the peels to extract all the liquid, discard the peels.
- To make simple syrup, heat up 1.5 cup sugar with 2 cups of water until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Let the simple syrup cool down and add 1.5 cups of syrup to the vodka. Personally I like the sweetness with 1.5 cups of syrup. If you prefer even sweeter, add 2 Tbsp of syrup at a time until satisfied.
- Transfer the limoncello into airtight jars and bottles, store them in the freezer and enjoy whenever!
After one month of waiting, it’s time!