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limoncello

Has anyone actually made this from scratch before? I have read recipe after recipe and the steeping time varies anywhere from 4 days to 2 months. I'm looking for some advice.

Thank you.

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    1. I'll sneak this in before the Chowhound team moves this to the Spirits board...I made a Rosemary Limoncello once and it steeped for 80 days total. It was a vodka base and the first 40 days were vodka, sugar and lemons, I believe. The second 80 was another bottle of vodka and the rosemary. It turned out well and made about 2.5 750ml. bottles of the spirit.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TownSpa

        I've made this for Christmas for a few years. I let it sit for about 2 months. It always gets raves. I like to check the color of the lemon peels, when they are creamy colored and the vodka is pale yellow and smells like lemon, you good to go.

      2. This is a rock solid recipe.

        Zest a large bag of lemons making sure to only use the yellow part.
        Place in a plastic container and fill with 750ml of grain alchohol
        cover with plastic and place in your refrigerator for 2-3 weeks
        When the zests appear to be almost crunchy your base is ready
        next step is to prepare a 750 ml of simple syrup (half sugar half water). do this on your stove top so you get the clearest syrup.
        get yourself a 1/2 gallon "handle" and combine your syrup and your base alchohol and voila! Limoncello. I might suggest that you try other variations ( grapefruit, oranges etc)

        4 Replies
        1. re: kosmonut

          This is nearly identical to my chosen recipe although I use a 1.75 liter bottle of grain alcohol and 1.75 liters of simple syrup.

          The resulting limoncello is fantastic. I make it every year and the bottles quickly disappear as friends and family snatch them up.

          1. re: ShadowedOne

            The recipe both SO and KM give have the essential part. Using grain alcohol, not vodka. The additional alcohol, or perhaps lack of water, leach more oil from the zest. Difference is dramatic. One time, guys, make it with meyer's lemons, makes it far more perfumey, thus taste is similar but nose is WOW

          2. re: kosmonut

            a procedural question for you ... when you say to zest the lemons, do you mean in strips like for a martini? or with a microplane and then filter out the zest later?

            1. re: akleeger

              I use a microplane. The key is to get as little of the white pith as possibly as it will add noticeable bitterness to the final product.

          3. To keep this focused on local Seattle chow, you might ask the peeps at Dinette. I know they make their own limoncello.

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