I was amazed at the varieties available in Italy and returned determined to make some. Recipes abound on the web, most of which contradict each other, if not themselves. One swears it takes 80 days to complete. 80 days? Really? I'm thinking summer evening, not Christmas gifts (though that would be nice, too). Any help from the wisdom of the hive would be most welcome. Thank you, and salute!



usuba D. July 30, 2011
I went to uni with an Italian who use to make this in food science class. Something about the peels of 42 lemons in a measurement of straight grain alcohol that was a 42 of something for 42 days. . . it was a family recipe handed down. Wish I had written it down, because it was brilliant . . . his was never as sweet as others I have had.
boulangere July 29, 2011
Thanks for the heads-up, dash, and I love the "go for it" encouragement, Aimless!
adashofbitters July 29, 2011
Oh, incidentally, for one previous batch, I used a large lemonade jar, the type with a spigot near the bottom. I also used Everclear for the alcohol. I noticed after a while that the jar was leaking; I believe the Everclear ate away at the rubber gasket holding the spigot in place. Ick.
Aimless July 29, 2011
Whatever recipe you choose, just go for it. I steep for four weeks. I've made it twice or three times in the last few years. You can't go too far wrong. Vodka is fine if you can't get Everclear. I believe in filtering through a coffee filter before sweetening--attractive clarity that way. In any case I bet your product will be eye-poppingly delicious. I named mine Shazam, because that's what I said spontaneously the first time I tasted my final product.
Furthermore, if you're wondering what to do with all those lemons and what to drink while you're waiting for the 'cello to mellow:
ChefJune July 29, 2011
sounds like a worthwhile project, boulangere. Will be interested to know how you like it compared with the imported stuff.
boulangere July 29, 2011
Thank you all! Starting it tomorrow.
Miafoodie July 29, 2011
This is my Limoncello recipe from Tuscany:
Pour 1 bottle of grain alcohol into 8 cup glass measure and add zest of 7 lemons.
Cover and let stand 1 week in fridge. Pour through coffee filter lined sieve set
over large bowl. Discard peel.

In a large saucepan, combine 2 1/4 cups sugar and 1 1/2 grain bottle of good
spring water. Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Reduce heat to med and cook 2 min. Remove from heat and cool to room temp.
(about 4 hrs.) Add to Alcohol/Zest mixture; stir, bottle. Store in freezer up to
6 month. Serve very cold and enjoy!
adashofbitters July 29, 2011
Every time I've made it, I've used this basic technique:

I taste as the lemon zest steeps in the vodka (or Everclear, if you can get it; not everyone can). Early on in the process, the mixture is still very harsh, but as it ages, it starts to mellow. This version doesn't take 80 days, but it's still a three-week process. If you start it now, you can enjoy it by Labor Day.
boulangere July 29, 2011
Thanks, HLA. It looks like we're all on a similar path. Looks like I'll have some limoncello in my summer after all.
boulangere July 29, 2011
Thanks, pierino. How does this sound: shaved lemon peels steeped in Everclear for a couple of weeks. At the end, strain and add about 30% simple syrup.
hardlikearmour July 29, 2011
I made a version from Sunset magazine a couple years ago, and it took 2 months, but had really nice results. Dymnyno has a recipe that is quite a bit shorter, and I would fully trust her to post a good recipe.
pierino July 29, 2011
Limoncello is kind of the bathtub gin of many Italian restaurants in the US. It's not on the menu, but if they like you maybe they'll bring you out a glass the owner cooked up as an after meal reward. You don't need much more than lemon juice, sugar, and Ever Clear---although most commerical limoncello sold in the US are only 30% alcohol. Eighty days only if you doing a fermentation thing.
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