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Monday, November 19, 2012



       Ah, limoncello!  The mere name ushers a pulsating salivary moment.  It is clean, lemony, and soothing at its best, however, many imitators use cheap trickery employing such methods as lemon extract and other horrible nightmares I dare not mention.
       Take heart, for you have the power to remedy this situation.  With just a few days and a few ingredients you are well on  your way to a decadent after dinner digestif.
       The following recipe is once again from the almighty Alton Brown.  I do recommend looking at several recipes beforehand to make sure you like the technique they are using. 
       In my case today I am using an extremely fragrant Buddha's hand citron, also known as a fingered citron.  Yes, I said fingered citron.  The truly magical thing about the Buddha's hand is that the whole interior consists of a white pith that, unlike other lemons, is not bitter!  This means I am using a good portion of the citron to flavor my vodka.  Remember, get a decent vodka, something you might actually drink, so you don't end up with cough syrup or "lemon pledge".  Now, to the best of your ability, follow the following recipe:


Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2009 from FoodNetwork.com


  • 2 pounds lemons, about 8 to 10
  •       (or in my case 1 Buddha's hand citron!)
  • 750 ml vodka, 100 proof  
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar


Carefully remove the zest from the lemons using a microplane or rasp grater, being careful not to remove any of the white pith. Reserve the lemons to make lemonade or squeeze and freeze the juice for later use.
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 7 days.
After 7 days, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer lined with muslin or several layers of cheesecloth and return the vodka to the container.
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan set over high heat and cook, stirring continually, until the sugar is completely dissolved, approximately 3 minutes. Once completely cool, add the sugar syrup to the vodka, and stir to combine.
Cover and put the container in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Limoncello can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.
I hope this batch turns out great.  I will update you later to show how I will be packaging these bottles as Christmas gifts.  Imagine how memorable a bottle of homemade limoncello can be.  Show you care, make limoncello!

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