The 25 Days of Holiday Goodies Day 7: Limoncello

25 Days of Christmas Goodies Button

This is another great food gift.  I’ve never personally had the chance to taste much of it because it tends to go toward family gifts.  The lemony taste of this Italian classic liqueur comes not from the tart juice, but from the bittersweet zest.  Be careful, though, to avoid the bitter pith!  (Does anyone else think of a pith helmet and adventuring when they see that word, or is that just me?)

Also, if you stop at the extraction stage, you should have some very fine lemon extract (perfect for fruitcake).

Limoncello

Source:  The Great Alton Brown

2 pounds lemons, about 8-10 (you will probably end up with 1 1/2 cups of zest, or thereabouts)

750 mL vodka

2/3 cup water

2/3 cup sugar

 

Remove only the zest from the lemons using a microplane.  (Go ahead and squeeze the lemons and make Chick-Fil-A lemonade).

Put the lemon zest into a lidded glass container that is at least 2 quarts in size.  Pour the vodka over the zest, and let sit in a cool, dark place for a week.

After a week, strain the liquid through whatever you can find until no zest remains in the liquid.  Return the vodka to the original container.

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking, until the sugar is completely dissolved (the liquid will be clear, not cloudy).  Cool completely before adding to the vodka and stir to combine.  Cover or decant into bottles for gift giving.  DO NOT DRINK IT RIGHT AWAY!  IT IS RIGHT NARSTY STUFF WHEN ITS RAW!

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