There is something that just sounds cool about making your own wine or brewing your own beer. Aside from it sounding cool, it can actually taste pretty good too. With both of those endeavors, though, you have to get some extra equipment and it can end up being a rather costly affair…and, sadly, sometimes the finished product is not as good as planned.
That’s why I love this Fucci family recipe for Limoncello. It’s a great way to start making your own personalized alcoholic drink at home without all the extra equipment and without the worry that it’s not going to work out. This recipe is foolproof.
There are just a few simple things to keep in mind in order to make the perfect Limoncello at home:
Get your Lemons at the Farmer’s Market or Right off the TreeThe most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure you are using unwaxed lemons. Many of the lemons that you get at the grocery store actually have wax on them. It helps to preserve them and makes them all shiny and new, like a fancy Italian sports car in the showroom.
Unlike the fancy Italian sports car, though, you’re not going to get the results you want from lemons that have wax on them. So, I like to grab my lemons from a local farmer at the Farmer’s Market…or even better, pick ‘em right off the tree. Either of those options will get you some really good results.
Use Pure Grain Alcohol
A lot of times, I hear of people using Vodka instead of Pure Grain Alcohol when they’re making limoncello. Most of the time, it’s usually because folks don’t want the alcohol content to be as high. That’s understandable, but from my experience, I have never gotten the results that I want when I use Vodka.
Despite being “tasteless,” Vodka actually has a taste that, when mixed with the lemon rinds, is not as vibrant and it distracts from the freshness that is Limoncello.My recommendation if you want to lower the alcohol content is to use a lower proof Pure Grain Alcohol. Depending on where you are located, you can find it in 190 proof, 151 proof and 120 proof (that’s 95%, 75.5% and 60% alcohol, respectively…the proof designation is just double the percentage of alcohol.) The 120 will work just fine.
If you want to lower it even more, just add a bit more of the sugar syrup mixture for the second steeping.
Use Only the Rinds
The third and final thing to keep in mind when making Limoncello is to only use the yellow part of the lemon skin. I find an ordinary vegetable peeler to be the most effective way, but a knife or a zester will do the trick too. The vegetable peeler that I have is just perfect because it is designed in a way that it only removes the zest of the lemon, leaving the white pith of the lemon on the lemon itself. That’s important because if you get too much of the white pith along with the zest, it is going to give you some undesirable bitterness.
Whatever method you use—knife, zester, peeler—just be a careful as you can to just get the yellow rind. It’s going to give you a really fresh-tasting finished liqueur.—
If you keep those three simple things in mind when making your Limoncello, you are going to be really pleased with the finished product. Just bottle it in your favorable resealable container and keep it in the freezer. Because of the alcohol-content, it won’t freeze.
And while you’re at it, bottle an extra one for me! 😉
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- Using Vegetable Peeler, zest the skins of all of the lemons (Note: try not to get any of the white pith). Place in a large Glass Mason Jar (or equivalent)
- To the jar, add Pure Grain Alcohol. Let sit 10 days.
- After ten days, combine Sugar and Water in a Large Pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Let cool.
- Pour cooled sugar syrup into the Jar with the Lemon Rinds and Alcohol. Let sit 10 days.
- Bottle into your favored sealable jar and store in the freezer.