Monday, December 17, 2012

Limoncello in the Making

There's a common saying in America that goes something like this: When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.

But if you're Italian, that saying would more likely go like this: When life hands you lemons, you make limoncello!

Which is exactly what we're doing at our house this week.

I must confess, though. We're not making just any ordinary, run-of-the-mill, hot-off-the-Internet limoncello recipe. We're making the recipe we got firsthand from my husband's family when we visited them in Alvignano, Italy six years ago. It's been passed down from generation to generation, and it's truly a great source of pride for them.

Making homemade limoncello is super easy. It's extra fun. And it's a uniquely satisfying experience.

It's also a real treat to serve after any special dinner -- including any of the ones in my book! :)

Keep your limoncello chilled year 'round in the freezer (the alcohol content will prevent it from freezing) so you'll be ready to pour it at any time.

So, here you go, dear readers. If you're feeling ambitious and want to make a unique, one-of-a-kind, sure-to-be-appreciated gift for that very special someone (or even yourself!), try this original Italian recipe. Salute and cin cin!

2 kg (about 4.5 pounds) whole lemons
1 litre (about 34 oz.) pure grain alcohol (such as vodka)
1 litre (about 34 oz.) water
600 g (about 1.3 pounds) sugar
  1. Peel the lemons. Place the peels and vodka in a glass bowl and soak for 48 hours, covered.
  2. Boil the water in a pan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Take off heat and let cool.
  3. Pour the cooled sugar water into the lemon mixture. Strain through a cheesecloth into a bottle with a cap. Let stand for 3-4 months.

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