I’ve always loved the taste of lemons—lemon ice, lemonade, lemon tart, lemon cookies. You get the idea. Maybe that’s why I enjoy limoncello. It’s light, sweet and very refreshing, and especially welcome at the end of a hot summer day.
The lemon liqueur originated in southern Italy nearly a hundred years ago. Then, it was customary for the wealthiest Sorrento families to offer limoncello to their distinguished guests.
While the Sorrento-made limoncello is my favorite and has the most authentic taste, the homemade kind can be just as delicious. The secret to the unique flavor is to use lemons that are grown in certain areas of Southern Italy. But living on Long Island, those are hard to come by. Instead, we chose medium-size lemons, grown locally. And it came out delicious!
Homemade limoncello is easy to make and something that can be served at your backyard barbecues. They make for great gifts, too!
Interested in making some? See the recipe below. And if you do make it, please let me know how yours turns out!
- 11 lemons (medium size; you’ll only be using the peels)
- 750 ml grain alcohol 95% proof or higher (or vodka)
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- Step 1: Peel strips of lemon with a peeler, avoiding the pith (the inside can be used for other purposes). Add lemon peel and alcohol to a large container (glass is best) with a lid. Seal. Let stand at room temperature in a cool dark place for one week. This will allow the flavors from the peel to infuse into the liquid.
- Step 2: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Slowly, stir in the 3 cups of sugar, one at a time, until completely melted. Let cool to room temperature; add sugar mixture to the container with the lemon peel and alcohol. Refrigerate for one day.
- Step 3: Strain out lemon peels and pour into individual bottles. Store in the freezer. Enjoy!
What’s great about this recipe is you can save the lemons to make another batch.