Just hearing the word spoken in Italian, with that little lingering double *L* and the shortened o at the end conjures up images of Positano.
Well, really of Raoul Bova in Under the Tuscan Sun.
But he was in Positano.
We had some of the best Limoncello in Ravello, Italy.
Ravello, Sorrento, Positano, Naples, Capri and Amalfi- they all claim to make the best! I really can’t tell, it is all so good.
It’s a great little lemony digestivo, perfect for hot summer evenings. But be careful, the high alcohol content might just knock you on your didietro!
Needless to say, we have been polishing off quite a bit of late, with the temperatures hovering in the 90’s here.
Limoncello can be found in liquor stores locally, but making your own is very simple and inexpensive.
The recipe only calls for four ingredients. Alcohol, lemon peel, sugar and water.
Traditionally, in Italy, the alcohol used is about 190 proof, but since that is not always readily available, use the highest you can find, typically 151 proof. The higher the alcohol content, the more lemon flavor is extracted.
Here is a quick recipe if you are feeling adventurous!
10 lemons, Meyer or organic
1 bottle grain alcohol, like Everclear
3 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups boiling hot water
Wash and scrub the lemons, removing all dirt. Dry. With a potato or vegetable peeler, peel the rind off each lemon in large sections. Leave as much of the white pith behind, as it will add a bitterness to the limoncello.
Place peels in a large airtight glass jar or container. Pour in the alcohol. Let sit in a cool dry place for at least one week.* Shake the container once a day.
When the week is up, put the sugar in a bowl and cover with the hot water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool.
Strain the lemon zest mixture. Combine the yellow lemon liquid with the cooled sugar water and stir until mixed well.
Pour into an airtight container, chill well and then serve cold.
I store mine in a glass bottle that I keep in the freezer so that it is always ice cold when I serve it!
This would be great to give for gifts as well. Just buy some simple little glass bottles, fill, and put a little ribbon and a handmade card with serving suggestions on it!
* There are many different recipes out there that have the lemon mixture sitting from only 2 days to 80 days. Experiment and see what works best for your palate.
Have you ever tried limoncello? Have you ever made your own? What are your secrets to making the best?