Three ingredients is all you need to make this classic citrusy liqueur right at home! There are so many ways to serve this refreshing drink. Try it on its own in small glasses, or mix with wine for a limoncello cocktail.
1(750ml) bottle Everclear,or high-proof vodka such as Stoli 100
Zest or peel the lemons: You don’t want any of the white pith. To remove only the yellow skin use a microplane zester to zest the lemon skin or a vegetable peeler to remove only the yellow part. Save the peeled lemons to make lemonade later!
Combine the lemon peel and the liquor: Combine the lemon peels and high-proof liquor into a glass jar. Seal it and store it out of direct sunlight.
Swirl and wait: Swirl the mixture gently every few days for two weeks (see headnotes to check for when it is ready).
Strain: When ready, layer cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer (or use a strainer bag) and pour the liquid with the lemon zest/peels over the top. Press down on the solids a little bit, then discard them and set liquid aside.
Make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let the simple syrup cool to room temperature, and then mix into the strained liquid.
Transfer and store: Using a funnel, pour the Limoncello into swing top bottles. Seal and transfer to the freezer.
Serve! To enjoy, pour about 1-½ to 2 ounces straight from the freezer into a chilled glass.
The length of time needed to make the Limoncello can vary depending on the oil content of your lemons, as well as the proof of your liquor.
Unless you are pretty familiar with your lemon variety, this means that you have to be a detective and taste-test every few days after a week has passed. I find that two weeks works well using Everclear and my Eureka lemons.
A lower proof vodka will mean that you may need an additional week or more to reach maximum lemon flavor.
Don’t worry about how much time your bottle is sitting out infusing, the high proof liquor will prevent mold from growing. However, should you see any signs of discoloration or something fuzzy growing, discard, sanitize your bottles, and start over.
A nut milk bag, or “strainer bag” is a first rate, one piece tool to use for straining fine particles. They’re great to have around: I use mine for these types of infusions, but also for straining my almond milk, chicken stock—you name it.