I’ve made limoncello three times that I can remember. The first time was with my mom when I was on break in college. We had gone to Italy for a week and tried some for the first time at a restaurant then a homemade batch at a friend’s house in Milan. That sounds a little more glamorous than it was, but it was very fun and memorable. My recipe is based on whatever I found online, but I’ve also tried variations. I wrote them down on a piece of paper with field notes so it looks authentic. I make traditional limoncello and a ginger, turmeric limoncello that packs a punch.
Since I live in Virginia, this limoncello journey started with my brother bringing a bottle of Everclear from North Carolina back in April. Step two, put the Everclear on a shelf for four months and think about how you are planning to make limoncello. Zesting the lemons into the Everclear is satisfying; the smell is incredible. The ginger and turmeric are chopped finely. I’m told these ingredients should be organic especially because of the infusion process.
After the Everclear has infused for a month, strain through a sieve. I think it’s cool that the lemon zest is white because the flavor and color have all drained away.
To avoid any sediment (a mistake I’ve made before) do another filter through a t-shirt placed on the sieve. In a former job, I wore undershirts every day. Now, I never wear them so I have a pile to use for stuff like this. They are washed I promise 🙂
The final step is just to mix the infused Everclear with simple syrup in a 1:1 ratio. I used to try and pour the ingredients to mix them but I ended up spilling way too much. I also used to mix the two ingredients into a third bowl before bottling, but that step is unnecessary. This time I used cup measures, going back and forth, pouring straight into the bottles, and it worked really well. Put back on the shelf for another couple of weeks to mellow then store in the freezer.
One time my older brother was visiting and had a terrible stomach ache. The only thing that made it feel better was homemade limoncello.
From left to right, leftover simple syrup, four small bottles of the ginger turmeric limoncello and three large bottles of the traditional limoncello. The one on the far right is a belated birthday present for my mother-in-law by special request.