I’ll admit I’m not one of those women who do crafty things for the holidays, like bake Christmas cookies, make candles, or homemade soap. That’s not me. I write. Give me a pen and paper, and I’m happy. That’s my passion second to my family.
So, it was to my husband’s surprise when I announced I wanted to make homemade Limoncello. What is Limoncello? It is an Italian liqueur made with lemon essence, sugar, water, and clear grain alcohol. Limoncello is a popular digestive, or after-dinner drink in Italy, usually served ice cold in small ceramic cups.
His initial reaction, “It won’t come out good.”
Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence, I thought. At least I can cook and write…
Regardless of my family’s support. I’m going to take a risk and try my hand at Limoncello-making. If it doesn’t turn out, well, I’ll drink it myself and call it a day.
(Here’s a picture of what’s needed to make this wonderful lemon concoction.)
Organic Lemons. Why organic? I really don’t know. Everyone I spoke to has said they’re better, even folks who’ve documented it on the internet. I don’t see a difference. I have to wash them in soapy water and scrub them with a vegetable brush anyway, so why would it matter. Non-the-less, to satisfy those “organic buffs,” I bought organic. I used seven lemons, but in some recipes, it calls for 5-8 lemons.
(Peeling the skin. A careful process. This one lemon looked cold. I even used a razor-blade to remove the skin.)
Lemon Zester. A strange kitchen contraption that takes out the white coating or pith under the lemon skin. Looks like a cool tool. Nothing in the directions says that the white coating under the skin comes off easy. Note to Self: Some arm muscle and a constant rubbing motion is required to remove the coating. Note Again: People with arthritis should not try this at home. It’s hard work and the most important work too. If there is any white pith left on the lemon skins, it will leave a very bitter taste. And, we don’t want that.
A Bowl or Bottle. Preferably glass to place the lemon skins in.
750 ml of Grain Alcohol or Vodka. Preferably, grain alcohol. I guess it comes out better. I bought that instead of the vodka.
(I went against the instruction and used a stainless steel bowl thinking it would be deep enough to hold the alcohol and lemon skins. I was wrong. The bowl was too big.)
Time. From start to finish: One hour and a half. I’m a first-timer, so give me some slack. This included, peeling the lemons, zesting the skins, pouring of the alcohol in the bowl over the skins, and then covering it with a plastic and foil, just in case, and placing it in a cool dark place. Psst…It’s under my cabinet.
(Final product: It’s ready to ferment.)
What did I do with the naked lemons? I don’t want to waste lemons, organic ones for that matter. So, I cut them in half and squeezed out the juice. I can use that juice and add that to my water. A good internal organ cleanser.
Next Steps? We wait. I’ve scoured the internet for directions on making Limoncello and asked around. All seem to say to leave the lemon alcohol mixer for 5-10 days. So, I’ll do just that.
Check back with me in that time for the next installment or Part 2: A Writer’s Adventure to Making Homemade Limoncello.
Until next time…
Be well. Be safe. Be happy.