[Excerpted from the May/June 2017 edition of Chatelaine]
Makes: 5 3/4 cups
Prep 10 min; total 25 min Plus 1 hr cooling time
1 750-mL bottle vodka, divided
8-10 Meyer lemons, washed and quartered
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar [or 3, in my case]
Divide 1 cup vodka bewteen 2 500-mL glass jars. Pack lemons very firmly into the jars. Seal, then let jars sit in a cool, dark place for at least 14 days and up to a month, turning and gently shaking jar once a day.
Strain lemons, reserving liquid. Transfer lemons to a large pot with water and sugar. Set over medium high and cook until liquid is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Cool mixture and strain into the reserved liquid.
Add remaining 2 cups vodka. Pour limoncello into clean bottles. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
Per tbs: 35 calories, 5g carbs (Note, a 1 oz serving would be 2 tbs, or 70 cals)
Notes and changes:
Now, I will say that when I made this, I made a few errors/changes. Not sure where I read to divide one cup of vodka into two jars, but this ultimately led to an *ahem* double batch. ::laughs:: And although I’ll swear up and down I purchased two 500mL jars from Michael’s, judging by volume, this appears to be a 1L jar holding my 2 cups of vodka and lemons… so.. who knows?
I also chose to slice my lemons for greater surface area, allowing more juice to exchange into the vodka than if I’d quartered them.
One important note… it smelled akin to turpentine when un-canning the jar. If this happens to you, don’t panic? I admit, I was worried the whole experiment was a bust. Was it the cheaper brand vodka I’d purchased? Perhaps, perhaps not.
After dusting off the magazine and realizing I needed more vodka at this stage (and realizing I was only supposed to soak 1 cup in lemon, not 2…) I bought a higher quality brand to finish the mix. To keep true to the recipe, I decided to double the batch to keep the ratios equal to the recipe. The syrup-water didn’t appear to be thickening, so we added another cup of sugar per batch (so 2 cups extra in total), and that seemed to do the trick. While warm, it still tasted… kind of weak and a little off.
Once I chilled it in the fridge (because there’s water content in it now and didn’t want to forget a full bottle in the freezer, eek!), I now had nicey, slightly syrupy… lemon tasting limoncello! I was really surprised how cooling it down brought out the flavour.
So there you have it.
Homemade Limoncello, stored in a glass bottle from Ikea.
Fun, easy to make Limoncello that you can wow your guests with and say you made at home!
(Is it cheaper than buying it? Probably not, but where’s the fun in that?)