Homemade gifts from the kitchen are very best. This Homemade Rosemary Limoncello recipe will make you very popular.
This week’s project is to make home made Limoncello for upcoming Christmas gifts. I found the Limoncello recipe last Spring. The frosty bottles looked so pretty full of the frozen lemony liqueur, that I couldn’t resist giving this a try. It’s a process, so I put it on my calendar for September so it would be ready by December.
So, here we go. I started with beautiful fresh lemons. Scrub all the waxes off then rinse and dry them well before zesting.
Next is the process of taking the peel off the lemons. Instructions are very strict to peel lemons with a very sharp peeler. It’s important not to grab any of the white bitter pith. You only want the yellow flesh. As you can see, I became concerned with my peeling skills and switched to a zester. The liquid will be strained later, so I felt comfortable with this decision. It made working around the white pith much easier.
With my combination of peeled and zested lemon I have added a four inch sprig of fresh rosemary to make this recipe even more special.
Most of the recipes say to use Everclear. :::taking deep breath. I just couldn’t do it. It sounded awful. NOTE: Use Everclear. Higher in alcohol content, it makes a better Limoncello. I’m still trying to find out why. Everclear may not be available in every state. Use the highest alcohol content vodka you can find.
In a gallon jar that seals very well, add the lemon peel and rosemary and pour in a 750 bottle of the alcohol.
Queso the cat got involved. We hardly ever have hard alcohol in our house. She was rather taken by the whole fume-ie process. She would just sit there glaring at it suspiciously and cautiously, squinting her eyes to shield them from the strong vapors. I couldn’t get her out of the picture. I think she was secretly fantasizing that were mixing up some sort of gasoline concoction to kill the dogs.
So there you have it for now. Seal up the jar and place it is a cool dark place. Although the total “hands-on” cook time is only 1 1/2 hours, you’ll need 14-80 days to let the lemon flavor infuse the alcohol. Swirl once a week to make sure all the oils from the lemon peel are extracting into the alcohol. Then we’ll add a simple syrup, the remaining alcohol and store for another length of time.
I couldn’t throw out all of those naked lemons, so I now have a beautiful jar of fresh squeezed lemon juice in the fridge. Maybe some lemon ice cream or sorbet in my future????
- 8 lemons Meyer or Eureka, washed and dried
- One 4-inch rosemary sprig washed and dried
- 2 bottles 100-proof alcohol 750 ml. each, EverClear or Vodka
- 4 1/2 cups sugar
Peel lemons with a sharp vegetable peeler, taking only the zest (top layer) and avoiding any white pith. Put rosemary in a one gallon glass or ceramic container with a tight seal. Add zest to jar.
Pour 750 ml. vodka over rosemary and zest; seal container. Let sit undisturbed in a cool, dark place for 40 days.
In a saucepan, bring 5 cups water to a boil and add sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Let sugar syrup cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Pour syrup and remaining 750 ml. vodka over lemon-vodka mixture, stir, and seal container. Let sit in a cool, dark place for another 40 days.
Pour limoncello through cheesecloth into a large spouted pitcher and divide among gift bottles.
Home made Limoncello Recipe …give it a try.
update: This concoction has been mysteriously steeping for three months in a dark corner of the basement. Every so often I’d swirl the gallon cauldron and watch the lemon flavor ooze out of the lemon peels and into the alcohol. I must admit, the suspense got the best of me and I did sneak a little taste the first week of December. Delicious. Finally the day arrived and it was ready for bottling and I simply strained the liquid through some cheesecloth, tossed out all of the lemon peel and then transferred the liqueur to gift bottles. I’m so tickled with myself that I’ll be starting another batch right after Christmas.