October 27, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Limoncello always ends a meal perfectly, but I knew that a basil-variety would delight a die-hard basil fan, like me or everyone else in my family. This version is strong but adds just the right sort of strength to a scoop of delicate lemon sorbet.eatboutique

Makes: 2.5 cups
Prep time: 24 hrs
Cook time: 20 min


  • 2.5 cups vodka
  • 50 basil leaves (organic is preferable)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
In This Recipe


  1. Pour vodka into a sealable, sterilized jar, and set aside. Use a jar with a seal that doesn't have metal in the lining. (If the only jar you have has a metal lining, then have a large piece of parchment paper handy to place between the jar and the seal.)
  2. Boil water in a pot over high heat. Set up an ice cold water bath - a bowl filled with ice and cold water - close to the stove.
  3. Clean basil leaves with a damp paper towel, paying attention to the underside of the leaves where dirt may hide.
  4. Blanch the basil leaves by placing leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer leaves to the ice cold water bath for 1 minute. Drain leaves in a tight mesh strainer, gently squeezing to remove extra water.
  5. Place the leaves into the jar of vodka. Cover and let sit in a cool, dark place for 1 week, shaking every other day.
  6. After a week, the infusion should take on an olive green hue. Drain the vodka and discard the basil leaves.
  7. Make a quick simple syrup of the sugar and 1/2 cup of water -- boiling until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  8. Add the simple syrup to the basil infused vodka. Your Basil-cello is ready to drink immediately but tastes better after a little more time in a cool, dark place and served ice cold.

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