I couldn’t resist. I almost wish that Local Limoncello was my first post on Local Lemons. No I don’t. If it were 99.9% of you wouldn’t have read it. Don’t worry, I’m not offended.
I told you recently about Zia Bruna and her heavenly limoncello, and I was hoping this would be her recipe. But someone, (hint: he’s Colombian, he lives with me, and he is very cute), told me there is a 12 hour time difference between California and Italy. Quit shaking your head, I know I should have checked–but instead I called Bruna at 8:30 p.m Pacific time. And you see, I felt very awkward asking for her limoncello recipe after rousing her from a deep sleep (As for the cute Colombian, he told me not to worry, that everyone over 60 wakes up early anyway).
Remember Claudia? She lugged over a ginormous bin Meyer lemons from her parents’ tree, and we spent the day cooking cassoulet and zesting lemons. Her and I consulted many recipes to find the best substitution for Zia Bruna’s magical brew. We checked here, here and even here. I can’t tell you exactly which one we used because we aren’t quite finished yet. The limoncello is sitting pretty on a shelf in my dining room, waiting to be swirled with sweet simple syrup. You can check the progress of our limoncello on the Local Lemons facebook page (where you’ll also find out about our experimental lime/Mandarin cello).
Here’s our dilemma. We have 60 lemons, zest free and bursting with mouth-puckering lemon juice, and not a clue what to do with them. Have any ideas? Leave a comment with your best recipe using as much lemon juice as possible, and I’ll choose one to feature in an upcoming post (crediting you of course, and linking back to your blog if you have one.)
Sound good? Good. Ready, set, go…
We had a lot of lemons, and are making a lot of limocello. I don’t know how much simple syrup we are using, so I can’t say exactly how much this will yield. Use the highest proof alcohol you can find. It’ll help pull the oils from the rinds. We couldn’t find grain alcohol like Everclear, so we used 100 proof Absolut vodka, the only vodka brand we could find with a high alcohol content.
Ingredients so far:
5 750 ml bottles of 100 proof Absolut Vodka (or grain alcohol if you can find it)
60 meyer lemons, washed, dried, and zested (no white stuff please, it’ll make your limoncello bitter.)
That’s Peter, Claudia’s husband, zesting lemons in our dining room.
Make sure your lemons are organic or pesticide free, since the alcohol will pull all that stuff out of the rind and into your tasty drink. Use any bottle you like. I had pint-sized mas0n jars lying around, so that’s what I used. Fill the jar (2 cups) with vodka and add zest from six lemons. Store in a cool, dark place for 3-8 weeks. When the rinds lose all their color, you can mix the limoncello with simple syrup (I’ll provide proportions after I actually do it). After that it sits for at least another week before straining, freezing and utterly enjoying. I’ll keep you posted…