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Limoncello


ScotteeM
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I just had my first taste of Limoncello last weekend, and I am hooked!  Would anyone be willing to share a recipe for this wonderful beverage?  If you don't want to post it publicly, you can send me a PM--I'll keep it a secret!  :lol:

Every Italian chef I know in town makes his own. It has something to do with lemons and 100° vodka.

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Having completed it's tour of the Eastern seaboard, my pasta machine is here. It's ON now.

(I know....on it's face, not very 'Cool stuff you make' thread, but you just wait! :lol: )

I just had my first taste of Limoncello last weekend, and I am hooked! Would anyone be willing to share a recipe for this wonderful beverage? If you don't want to post it publicly, you can send me a PM--I'll keep it a secret! wink.gif

Edited to add: Big eGullet thread on limoncello

Edited by shogun
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I tried that once, using Everclear, I think.  The result was horrible.  Is there some secret to it, like letting it age for a decade or so?

I just read through the eGullet thread and I have to say that the recipes using Everclear are WAY off. You need to dilute the infusion of pure alcohol and lemon zest using TWICE as much water. I was rather dumbfounded to read some of those which suggested infusing the zest in some Everclear and then "diluting" it with 80-proof vodka.

If your recipe didn't call for the ratio of the equivalent of 750 ml Everclear plus a sugar syrup made with 1.5 liters of water, then I don't doubt it was awful.

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I tried that once, using Everclear, I think.  The result was horrible.  Is there some secret to it, like letting it age for a decade or so?

It is really not difficult. Just mix your lemon-clear with simple syrup and water until it has the taste and strength that you desire. Aging will not do anything.

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I just read through the eGullet thread and I have to say that the recipes using Everclear are WAY off.

Not sure which one Barbara's talking about but if Katie Loeb's recipe is there I would try that one. I have tasted Katie's limoncello and can vouch for it. It's delicious.

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Not sure which one Barbara's talking about but if Katie Loeb's recipe is there I would try that one.  I have tasted Katie's limoncello and can vouch for it.  It's delicious.

Katie uses Vodka, which is fine with me. I was referring to the various links people have added in that thread showing recipes using Everclear and those are the ones which have too little water. However you want to make it, it is easy, and all of it can be adjusted for both strength and sweetness.

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Okay, just started a new batch of limoncello, this time using Meyer lemons and, on the advice of a bartender who I trust, Pearl vodka. Already the supernatant is a neon yellow (it's been about half an hour, and I used a microplane to zest the lemons). I'll let you all know how it turned out in a few weeks. Hmm, maybe it'll be ready by New Year's eve.

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Thanks for all the tips on making limoncello. The batch I started a few weeks ago came out quite nicely. I used the (microplaned) zest of seven Meyer lemons in half a bottle of Pearl vodka. Strained that and added the other half of the bottle. Took half of that mixture and mixed it one:one with simple syrup. Some people like the result, but it's a bit sweet for me, so I spike mine with some of the unsweetened mixture. It's nice and mellow and the Meyer lemon flavor really comes through.

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I figured the limoncello posts need to be parsed out of the other thread so I am going to ask my question here.

Where do those of you that make a good size batch of limoncello find decent bottles for storage and are suitable for gifts? I cannot remember where I bought the ones I used last time. I would love to get ones with the Grolsch style tops if possible. I prefer a local store to the internet so that I can see what I am getting, unless someone can give a personal recommendation.

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I figured the limoncello posts need to be parsed out of the other thread so I am going to ask my question here.

Where do those of you that make a good size batch of limoncello find decent bottles for storage and are suitable for gifts?  I cannot remember where I bought the ones I used last time.  I would love to get ones with the Grolsch style tops if possible.  I prefer a local store to the internet so that I can see what I am getting, unless someone can give  a personal recommendation.

The Container Store carries some nice glass bottles suitable for gifts. Can't remember if they have any Grolsch style ones, though.

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I used to buy bottles at Pier 1 Imports. (They used to have these really cool ones shaped liked various fruits and color-coordinated stoppers; the pear-shaped one with the yellow top was perfect for Limoncello.)

However, I discovered www.specialtybottles.com and now get all mine from them. I believe they have the ones with the stoppers you are talking about. If not, the Container Store carries them.

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I used to buy French lemonade or orangeade in the bail-top bottles--several stores sell the product. As I recall, Rodman's was probably the cheapest. I thought it was dreadful stuff, but my family liked it and the bottle itself was worth the price of the contents. I have so many of the bottles, which I use for lemon olive oil, that I don't have to buy the lemonade anymore.

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Where do those of you that make a good size batch of limoncello find decent bottles for storage and are suitable for gifts?  I cannot remember where I bought the ones I used last time.  I would love to get ones with the Grolsch style tops if possible.  I prefer a local store to the internet so that I can see what I am getting, unless someone can give  a personal recommendation.

I've bought them (the swing-top styles only) at the Container Store, World Market, and online via the link above. I like the Container Store ones purely for the ease of picking and choosing and they are good qaulity. Some of the ones at World Market turned out to be bettter geared towards decorative purposes (some bad seals on a handful of them, others dried out prematurely). They are considerably cheaper though. I haven't put up a batch recently, but will order online when I do.

For storage and aging I have a couple big gallon size sealable canisters, but I'm looking to replace them with something that is easier when it comes to bottling. Those first couple pours are always an adventure :)

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For storage and aging I have a couple big gallon size sealable canisters, but I'm looking to replace them with something that is easier when it comes to bottling.  Those first couple pours are always an adventure  :)

Or, just pour it into a large measuring cup and use the spout on that to fill the bottles. :o
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Or, just pour it into a large measuring cup and use the spout on that to fill the bottles. :o

The problem would then be getting it INTO the measuring cup B) (mine's too big to fit through the top of the storage jar). I've gone with a ladle/funnel combo that seems to work pretty well, but it gets tedious so I usually just get a-pourin'. I don't mind the sticky counters. Much :)

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Or how about a funnel!

The funnel definitely helps. You'd have to be quite the sharpshooter to get a perfect jar-to-bottle stream going! The big problem is that tendency of liquids coming out of a wide mouth from a full container to adhere to the sides and dribble off the bottom (like trying to slowly drain liquid from a full, spoutless stock pot).

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The funnel definitely helps.  You'd have to be quite the sharpshooter to get a perfect jar-to-bottle stream going!  The big problem is that tendency of liquids coming out of a wide mouth from a full container to adhere to the sides and dribble off the bottom (like trying to slowly drain liquid from a full, spoutless stock pot).

Try using a soup ladle in the big jar. FYI: I use this as another opportunity to strain the stuff. I ladle the limoncello into a 2-cup measuring cup (my bottles hold 1 1/2 cups) and then use a funnel lined with cheese cloth in the bottles.
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All right, I need some expert help. I started making a batch of limoncello which basically shook out like this:

1 L Everclear

1 L 100 proof vodka

24 painstakingly peeled lemons

Started the batch in mid-April, let it sit three weeks, then added

4 c 1:1 simple syrup

So. The resultant mixture has a very lemony flavor but basically whoops my a$$ - it's very strong. As a taste reference, I very recently had Dino's limoncello, so I think I'm in the ballpark. I just need to remove the feeling of needing to scratch your face hard after sipping.

I don't think cutting it with simple syrup is the way to go; it's already pretty sweet. Just add water?

Thanks in advance.

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It's the Everclear. I'd just stick with all 100 proof vodka next time.

You could try diluting this batch with water, but that's also going to dilute the lemon taste a bit.

You can easily use Everclear and get a very drinkable product. I use Everclear when I make mine and you need to dilute with concentrated simple syrup and water to get to the correct dilution that you want. Everclear is essentially 100% EtOH so, for example, you would need to dilute 4:1 to get to a 25% or 50 proof product. You need to experiment with the proper amount of simple syrup and water to get the tartness level to be where you like. Even at this dilution level you are not lacking for lemon flavor.

I usually use a ratio of 9 lemons to 1L of Everclear. Also to make the peeling quicker use a regular zester or microplane to remove the zest.

Also be sure to try lime and orange versions.

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You can easily use Everclear and get a very drinkable product. I use Everclear when I make mine and you need to dilute with concentrated simple syrup and water to get to the correct dilution that you want. Everclear is essentially 100% EtOH so, for example, you would need to dilute 4:1 to get to a 25% or 50 proof product. You need to experiment with the proper amount of simple syrup and water to get the tartness level to be where you like. Even at this dilution level you are not lacking for lemon flavor.

I usually use a ratio of 9 lemons to 1L of Everclear. Also to make the peeling quicker use a regular zester or microplane to remove the zest.

Also be sure to try lime and orange versions.

I make mine a bit lighter; seems to work well and is neither harsh nor cloying:

Peel (microplaned) from 8 organic lemons

750 ml Everclear 190 proof

48 oz bottled water

2 1/2 cups sugar

Mix peels and Everclear; let sit for two weeks; strain; boil water and sugar; when cool add to alcohol; let age a few months before use.

Oh, I am terrible at math, but wouldn't a 4:1 ratio of water to 100% alcohol result in a 20 percent solution (5 parts total, of which 4 (80 percent) are water and one (20 percent) alcohol)?

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It's the Everclear. I'd just stick with all 100 proof vodka next time.

You could try diluting this batch with water, but that's also going to dilute the lemon taste a bit.

I think you're right. It's the Everclear. I don't mean to suggest you can't make limoncello with EClear at all, but this skull-popping taste isn't coming from the Smirnoff. I can spot that one. :-)

I do still, after all, want to keep (fix) this batch, so maybe I zest some more lemons in there and let sit, and then add some water.

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I make mine a bit lighter; seems to work well and is neither harsh nor cloying:

Peel (microplaned) from 8 organic lemons

750 ml Everclear 190 proof

48 oz bottled water

2 1/2 cups sugar

Mix peels and Everclear; let sit for two weeks; strain; boil water and sugar; when cool add to alcohol; let age a few months before use.

Oh, I am terrible at math, but wouldn't a 4:1 ratio of water to 100% alcohol result in a 20 percent solution (5 parts total, of which 4 (80 percent) are water and one (20 percent) alcohol)?

Yes, you are correct. I posted too quickly and did not check my work. :lol:

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I'm looking to make some Limoncello at home, finally. A few questions--

1) Any differences between using regular lemons versus meyer lemons? Probably going with the former, curious about the latter.

2) I prefer my limoncello a bit less sweet than it is normally. Any issue with reducing the amount of sugar? I ask because baking is very unforgiving (as opposed to cooking) and not sure if formulaically it would be a dud if I scaled back the sugar a tad.....

Thanks!

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