Limoncello

Started this in my brew log but decided to give it it's own home as I'll be playing around with the basic recipe a bit and trying out some infusions and such, so here is the basic recipe for Limoncello:

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RocketMans Limoncello

2 Liters 151 Proof Grain Alcohol or 80 Proof or higher Vodka
20 - 30 Lemons, common Eureka Lemons work great or for a little change try Myers Lemons. Try to find Organic Lemons
2 Liters filtered Water
3 Lbs Table Sugar

First clean the lemons really well so that no pesticides or waxy residue remain to get into your limoncello. We'll only be using the zest of the lemons so if you have a zester, grab it. Otherwise a potato peeler will work but you may need to go back over the strips with a very sharp knife and remove any of the white pith to keep your Limoncello from being bitter. Put the zest into a clean and sanitized gallon size glass jar with a good sealing lid.

Second, pour the alcohol over the lemon peel. Place some plastic wrap over the mouth and put the lid on. For the first week keep it in a cabinet in the kitchen and give it a good shake in the morning and in the evening. Then place it in a dark cool place for a total of 40 days. Order your bottles if you don't have any saved up.

Third, when the 40 days are up make a simple syrup from the water and sugar. You may want to increase the amount of syrup if you don't want a strong Limoncello. Bring the sugar and water to a boil just long enough for all of the sugar to be dissolved. Let it cool to room temperature.

Using a fine wire strainer and perhaps some cheese cloth strain the liquor into a new clean and sanitized container and then add the simple syrup. Stir to combine them and close the container. Let it sit overnight and bottle the next day. I like to use 500 ml clear flip top bottles. Put a couple in the freezer to get good and cold and it's ready to use.

This year I'm thinking about doing a couple of variations too. A Basil infused Limoncello and a Crema Di Limoncello. Another possibility I'm considering is a Cayenne infused Limoncello, but we'll see about that one
I actually like using an 80 or 90 Proof Vodka better than using a grain alcohol. The vodka seems to add a touch of sweetness to it where as the grain alcohol tends to have a distinct burn. Also, if you have family members that have glutin issues, use Tito's Vodka. It's made with 100% corn and is naturally glutin free. I've used Tito's many times and it's actually one of my favorites.
 
Crema Di Limoncello

We found out about this last year when my mom went with my brothers family on a tour of Spain and Italy and it quickly became a family favorite. It's wonderful ice cold right out of the freezer but my favorite way to enjoy it is over fresh ripe berries.

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To make this version of Limoncello simply replace the 2 Liters of water with a 1/2 gallon of Half and Half.

So simple, so good, so impressive
 
I make a gallon of Limoncello every couple of years.  Some for me and some gets parcelled off as gifts.  A couple years ago I added a half dozen Tepin x Lemon Drop peppers to a quart of the finished Limoncello and let it rest another month. It gave it a very pleasant heat without infringing on the character of the liqueur.  I would highly recommend that to any chilihead!
 
This is another delicous liqueur:   http://www.lottieanddoof.com/2010/03/milk-liqueur/
 
Here's some processing pics from today's events.

Out of the jar into the strainer.

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Mash it out. I'll often pick a handful up and squeeze it, just make sure you don't have any cuts on them or you'll know about them

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Gotta clear this up some.

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Nothing clears it like a strainer and a coffee filter

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Now that's looking good!

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Basil syrup to make a Basil infused Limoncello.

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It came out tasty but ugly, going to have to figure out another way to do this one.

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However, the Traditional Limoncello came out gorgeous!

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Might have to make a cheesecake soon
 
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