Part 3: Reaping What You Sow. A Writer’s Adventure to Making Homemade Limoncello

Well, this is the last installment of my little adventure to making Limoncello. It’s been a process, but an enjoyable one. Not only did it give me an opportunity to do some non-fiction-related writing, but it helped me concentrate on something else, while thinking about my characters and the story in my second novel. A tool I’ve learned from other writers who have done this.

Though quite not the same, Limoncello-making reminds me a lot about making wine. My family made homemade wine for many, many years. I remember how excited my father would get in making something with his heart and hands. From selecting the grapes, putting together the press, washing the barrels, and then the first taste months later. All were a process, but one taken with pride. This was his wine, good or bad, it was his.

I approached making Limoncello with that same desire. Selecting plump, organic lemons, getting and cleaning my glass bottles, zesting the lemon skins, and researching the best grain alcohol to use. I’ve taken pride in what I’ve done. Wanting to share the end result with my family and friends in celebration of Christmas. Good or bad, however the Limoncello will come out; we will still cheer and salute each other during this precious season in our lives.

Here are the last two steps of the Limoncello-making process:

Making the Sugar-Water or Simple Syrup. This can be done ahead of time while the lemon skins are soaking in the grain alcohol. Actually, it’s recommended because the simple syrup has to cool to room temperature before it is mixed with the alcohol.

In order to yield two bottles of Limoncello, I boiled 5 cups of water and then added 3 cups of sugar. You let the water come to a boil again, and then turn it off. When the sugar water has cooled, I place them in glass bottles. It comes out to a bottle and a half of the liquid.

Mixing the Simple Syrup and Alcohol. I had the lemon skins and alcohol ferment for 6 days.

  1. I removed and discarded the lemon skins from the alcohol. I knew they were done by the firmness and stiffness of the skins. The alcohol truly soaked up all the lemon flavor.
  2. I stirred the liquid to distribute the lemon and alcohol evenly.
  3. In a large bowl, I poured the lemon alcohol and then poured in the simple syrup. With a ladle, I turned the mixture together.

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4. I poured the Limoncello through a funnel into two glass bottles.

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5. Then, I placed the filled bottles in the fridge. NOTE: You can also freeze the bottles.

Saving one glass for myself, I tasted my concoction. Result: Perfection.

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Thank you for journeying with me.

As we say in Italy, Salute!

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