September 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Beverages | 19 Comments
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That’s right people, I’m makin’ Limoncello. I found the recipe last Spring. The frosty bottles looked so pretty full of the frozen lemony liqueur, that I decided to make some for gifts. 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 15 beautiful lemons.  Since we don’t grow lemons here in Colorado, I had to use store bought.  The directions say to scrub all the waxes off.  I sprayed them with FIT and then washed and dried them good.


 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 part.  I started with this ceramic and very sharp peeler.


 I ended up using my zester.  MUCH faster and pith safer than the peeler.


 With my combination of peeled and zested lemon I have added a four inch sprig of fresh rosemary.  The recipe I found is called Rosemary Limoncello.  I have started this project well in advance, if I don’t like the rosemary, I’ll make more in time for Christmas and omit it.


 Most of the recipes say you should use Everclear.  :::taking deep breath.  I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t bring myself to walk in to my local liquor store and grab a bottle of Everclear and march it up to the front counter.   I just knew that as soon as I did, some breaking news story would unfold and Channel 4 reporters would storm the counters and there I’d be in the background on local Denver television stations on the 6:00 prime time news holding my large bottle of Everclear.   A big ol bottle of cheap vodka seemed much less derelict.  HA


 So now you take your gallon jar of lemon peel and rosemary and pour in a 750 bottle of cheap vodka.  Some recipes say to add double that all at once.  Some say to add 750 now and 750 later.   I decided to add it all now. This photo is only one bottle and I ended up adding both 750 bottles before storing.

OK, now look at my goofy cat.  We hardly ever have hard alcohol in our house.  She was rather taken by the whole fume-ie thing.  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 for a period of time anywhere from 30 days to six weeks, and some even say up to two months. 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 and store for another length of time.  I’ll report back when we’re at that stage.

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????



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  1. This is BEAUTIFUL!! I love the whole post and can’t wait to hear what you think of rosemary limoncello! The pictures are just perfect, too. The one with your cat – and the idea that he (she?) would like you to blow up the dogs is hysterical. When I lived in California and we had too too many lemons, I made sparkling lemonaide with the juice by using club sode instead of water. You can spike it with raspberries, strawberries, herbs?, etc.
    I’m definitely making this!

    • Thanks Vickie! The cat is a she. I live on club soda and always have it in the refrigerator. I’ll definitely be making some sparkling lemonade.

      • Just noticed I called it club sode – must be the Texas in me. 😛

  2. Great gift idea. So beautiful!

  3. This looks like fun. I just bought a bottle or I would make this! I might anyway!

    • Thanks Stephanie, It was pretty darn easy to make. I’ve never bought any. Only tasted it once. I just hope it turns out.
      Lea Ann

  4. i haven’t made this in years. It used to be a Mother’s Day tradition. Lemoncello is such a refreshing drink. Love the photo with your cat staring at the jar.

    • That darn cat! She was obsessed with the whole process. Why wait until Mother’s Day. I just hope mine turns out. I’ll be disappointed if not.

  5. My husband loves limoncello. I would never have even thought about making it myself. What a great idea!

    • I’ve only had limoncello once, last Christmas. I liked it. I’m just hoping this turns out ok.

      Thanks Karen Lea Ann

  6. So fantastic, I love that you made your own!

    • Thanks Cathy, the jury is still out, we’ll see if it’s drinkable in about a month. 🙂

  7. Very nice, it has a great color. If your state allows the sale of Everclear, you can probably also have it shipped to your house. I just buy it proudly though. 🙂

    • Thanks Perry – I’ll tell you a secret, I’ll haul anything up to the liquor store counter unembarrassed – embarrassed just made a better story! 🙂 I just really didn’t want to use Everclear – blech

  8. This is some cool idea for a hostess gift.

    Love the pic with the cat looking inside the bottle!

  9. Pretty cool! I’ve made Kaluha, raspberry cordial, and “Farm Boys”(Dutch booze soaked raisins!) pronounced Boo-yan-is… I like lemony- might do this on for Christmas!

  10. This is interesting, have never try this before. How long can I keep this?

  11. served in a mason jar…perfect

  12. […] wrote about making this homemade brew back in September and you can review the project by clicking HERE.  This concoction has been  mysteriously steeping for three months in a dark corner of the […]

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