When life hands you lemons……make limoncello!
Watch the live videos on IG TV @winewithlisa Part 1 and Part 2 Making Limoncello and Blood Orangecello
DIY Limoncello and Orangecello!
Making your own liqueurs at home is a great project (especially while we all have so much time on our hands.) Think of it as an adult DIY! And, limoncello is not just for Christmas gifts, it’s for anytime you are looking for a cool and refreshing afternoon or after dinner sipper! Italians love their lemons! Limoncello is a southern Italian liqueur made traditionally from local lemons. Unless you live on the Amalfi Coast (lucky you if you do) you’ll want to get the brightest yellow, unblemished and organic if you can find them. It’s worth the extra money. It’s a bright, sweet, lemony adult treat!
Making homemade limoncello or blood orange cello is so easy and the best part is that you can share it with friends and still have plenty remaining for you to enjoy! It tastes great refrigerated but freezing is a great idea too.
There are many recipes for Limoncello but I like mine the best. If you google search, you will find differing amounts of lemons used, different ways of zesting, more or less sugar.
Vodka vs PGA
Should you use vodka or pure grain alcohol (pga)? I’ve made it both ways and I prefer vodka over PGA. Some say that more alcohol that is in PGA is needed to leach out the flavors/oils in the zest but I have found – and stand by – vodka works! I used Round Rock Vodka; such a smooth and clean flavor! We do love our Round Rock Vodka! And, the overall product tastes better, smoother and more tolerable. Be sure to use a good vodka, one that you would regularly drink because the smoothness and taste matters. Some might say that vodka doesn’t have a flavor but just have a low quality vodka and then you’ll see that it does and it might not be pleasant.
I am not a fan of PGA because of the harshness that doesn’t go away even after you add the sugar at the end and it’s a headache-inducer for me. I am sticking to vodka.
Pouring it up into cute containers makes it taste even better and makes a great gift for pretty much any celebration. Get creative. I’ll be trying out new versions with other citrus such as limes, tangerines, grapefruit and since blood oranges are a seasonal and not always available, just regular oranges are great too. Just make sure to get the most plump, fresh and unblemished fruit as possible and always wash and dry before you make it.
What to do with all of that extra juice?!?
Always use fresh juice and freshly squeezed! Extra lemon juice makes fabulous Lemon Drop Martinis as well as Spicy Blood Orange Margaritas! Check out my link to my recent post for Lemon Drop Martinis and Blood Orange Margarita.
A note about the sugar: For the most brilliant lemon or orange color use white sugar and not an organic sugar which tends to be more of an off-white or beige color.
Where did you get that lovely Limoncello set?
I really wanted something special to enjoy my homemade Limoncello liqueur and I found what I wanted at www.Amusespot.com
I asked for it quickly so I could get this post out and they were soooo accommodating and friendly! Look how cute it is! “Amuse yourself” by checking out their site for really gorgeous items from all over the globe. I know I’ll be shopping more!
- 2½ cups white sugar
- 2½ cups water
- If making limoncello: Zest from 14 lemons
- If making orangecello: Zest from 14 Blood Oranges
- 1-750 ml Vodka Good Quality, a vodka you would normally drink
- 1-64oz clean Ball Jar with lid or any other large container with a lid
- Wash and dry lemons and blood oranges
- Zest lemons or zest oranges
- Add lemon zest or orange zest to jar
- Pour 1 bottle of vodka over lemon zest or orange zest
- If making Orangecello there will be a bigger pile of orange than lemon
- Close jar tightly and give a gentle swirl
- Make sure the zests are totally submerged, using a clean wooden spoon to push them if needed
- NOTE: more vodka may be needed to completely cover the orange zest
- Place both jars in a cool, dark corner of the room, cabinet or closet
- Let contents of jar macerate the zest for a minimum of 4 days up to 14 days
- After up to 14 days....
- Make simple syrup by bringing to boil water and sugar by bringing to a boil the sugar and water
- Strain and discard the zest from jar and add each liqueur back into jar
- Shake gently
- Refrigerate overnight or serve immediately
- Keep refrigerated or freeze!