Limoncello is a gorgeous lemon liqueur which is made throughout the whole of southern Italy, I first tried it in Tuscany and have been hooked ever since, a special meal at home or in a restaurant is not complete without a little glass of this lemon liqueur with an espresso to end the meal with.
In Italy they make it with pure alcohol, which is difficult to get here, but just use a very good high proof vodka, as it has a neutral flavour. Also get the best unwaxed lemons you can find as taste is so important.
The Italians love it poured over their gelato.
6 unwaxed lemons
75cl (25fl oz) bottle vodka (or pure alcohol)
225g caster sugar
450ml pure bottled water
Put the lemons in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for one hour. Remove from the water and dry with kitchen paper.
Using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel the rind from the lemons, taking care not to remove the white pith.
Put the lemon rind in a wide-mouthed jar. Pour over the vodka and cover. Leave in a dark place for 20 days.
After 20 days, put the sugar and the bottled water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, cover and leave until cold.
When cold, add the sugar mixture to the lemon zest mixture. Strain the mixture, pour into sterilized bottles and seal. Leave in a cold, dark place for seven days before serving.
Serve cold and once opened, store in the fridge.
Please note: 15/06/2011 We found that it tasted a little to much of the vodka, so we added the zest of 3 lemons, cut the left over lemons into wedges and put them into the vodka for another 7 days, we will let you know how is goes.
Further Update: 29/06/2011 We tried the Limoncello again at the weekend and it was gorgeous, a little sharper than the brought stuff which we preferred, but if you fancy it sweeter just add more sugar at the syrup stage. So here is my Jerry Springer final thought on Limoncello making, stick to the 6 unwaxed lemons but jest them all, juice 3 of them and the other 3 cut into quarters and leave in for the first 20 days as in the above recipe, when you try it at the end of the 27 days, if you feel its not lemony enough or sweet enough you will know next time to add more lemons or more sugar, ENJOY :)