In the Kitchen: Limoncello

Limoncello is an Italian digestif liqueur originating in the southern coastal Amalfi region of Italy. Usually served ice cold in chilled ceramic cups or shot glasses, this liqueur is great as a refreshing after dinner drink, or just for fun.

The most distinctive thing about limoncello is its bright yellow coloring. The coloring is based on the infusion of the outer zest (peels) from lemons and grain alcohol, Everclear, Italian grappa or vodka. While it is bottled and sold commercially, making your own limoncello can be a very simple process.

While there are many limoncello recipes, we’ve decided to use Food Network’s Chef Giada De Laurentiis recipe. It will take less than one week to complete the process, compared to some more traditional recipes that take up to two months.

The ingredients for Limoncello are simple: zests from 10 lemons, a 750mL bottle of vodka, and simple syrup.

Peel the lemons and remove all the excess pith from the inside. Removing the pith is important, as it will keep the limoncello from getting a bitter taste.

After the zests are ready, place them in a pitcher and pour in the vodka. Cover and let the mixture soak at room temperature for four days.

After four days, prepare the simple syrup and combine it with the vodka mixture. Let it set overnight, then strain the mixture through a mesh strainer and discard the peels. Bottle the limoncello and chill for a minimum of four hours before serving.

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