Limoncello

Discussion of drinks, alcoholic and otherwise
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AZLobo
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Anyone have a favorite recipe they're willing to share? Our lemon tree has been prolific this season, and I'd like to give it a shot.
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Skillet Doux
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I have a recipe that katfishkh gave me... if he doesn't chime in, I'll dig it out. Though "recipe" may be stretching the definition of the word. There's not much to it.
Dominic Armato
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LaPan
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Love any lemon recipe ideas. It's one of my favorite flavours.
IG @lapaniam
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BarbaraToombs
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I just got through making a batch with your lemons, AZLobo (zip it, Skillet Doux! LOL). I take one large bottle of Everclear (1.75 L), put it in a large jar, use a veggie peeler to thinly peel about 18 lemons and add peels to jar. I have also been throwing in a couple of vanilla pods, and this time also threw in a couple of star anise pods, and am pleased with the results. Leave for at least 2 weeks (I left mine for 3 this time), swirling the jar every day or so. Am told you should leave it in a dark place, but I just leave mine on my counter out of the sun and it's fine.

I bought limoncello bottles, corks, etc., at Brewers Connection in Tempe. Ran them through the sanitize cycle of my dishwasher, then dunked them in big plastic bin of water with StarSan (also available at Brewers Connection) in it to further sanitize.

When you're ready to finish the limoncello, strain out the peels etc through cheesecloth into a large container. Make simple syrup using the same amount of water as you have Everclear, adding two cups of sugar per liter of water. Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes. Let cool and mix with your alcohol base.

Fill your bottles, cap and seal if you want (they have really cool sealing plastic caps at Brewers Connection that you just dunk in boiling water to shrink).

That's it!
Last edited by BarbaraToombs 7 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
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AZLobo
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Thanks Barbara! I'll give this a shot!
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Lunchbox
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I was going to make this Crema de limoncello recipe this year but I waited too long and my lemons went bad. I know lots of people with lemons so next year it's on...
-- LBX

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PHXeater
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I'd be interested to hear any other experiences, I'm making some this weekend with a recipe I got from my brother. Will take awhile to report back as the one I'm using requires a lot of sitting but really looking forward to it - most commercial limoncello's are too syrupy for me.
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davegorton54
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I've made a few batches of limoncello with mostly positive results. Here's the recipe that I have followed for my 3 most recent batches:

- 15 lemons
- 1/2 gal. Smirnoff 100 Proof Vodka
- 4 cups Simple Syrup

I've both peeled and microplaned the zest. I think that you get significantly more flavor (and more quickly) using the microplane. Make sure that you take as little of the pith as possible as even the slightest amount will turn the whole batch bitter-ish. I let the zest steep in the vodka for 6 weeks. I then add 4 cups of simple syrup to the mixture and let it sit for another 4 weeks after that. Once the full 10 weeks is completed, I'll make a couple of steps for filtration (which is a pain in the ass with the microplaned zest). I'll send the whole batch through a fine mesh sieve to remove any big pieces. I then send it through a disposable flat bottomed coffee filter to get the rest of the bits out.

1/2 goes into the bottle as is and 1/2 gets heavy cream (to taste) added for a limoncello cream. It's pretty smooth (I think predominately due to the use of Vodka rather than Everclear) but certainly evens out a bit more as time passes by.

A majority of my research came from http://www.limoncelloquest.com. It's a really good resource that I just stumbled across from a Google Search. Cheers!
PHXeater
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Thanks for telling your experience on zest vs. peel, that's something I was wondering as going through different options. Yours sits even longer than my recipe calls for...patience isn't one of my strong suits but we'll see how I do!
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BillBuitenhuys
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Try boosting your proof up to about 120 (Everclear is your friend here) and then dilute down after filtering....or don't dilute if you want more kickass.

Good points about the pith vs rind only. In our bitters making world a bit of pith is needed but for a purity of limoncello you definitely want to microplane.

Another technique is the suspension method where you use whole lemons suspended over a pool of Everclear. Haven't tried it yet, but this looks like a good way to get pure oil.
PHXeater
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Well, here goes nothing.

16 lemons zested using smallest holes on a cheese grater (worked with what I have!). Store was sold out of organic lemons so I had to go with regular unfortunately.
1.5 liters of 153 proof Diesel grain alcohol(lovely name....).

It's currently stored in a too big 2 gallon glass beverage dispenser. Placed in my wine fridge at 55 degrees since I don't really have a cool enough place to store it anywhere else. I'm planning on letting it sit for 3 weeks before adding simple syrup (made with plain white sugar based on online tips), then letting it sit an additional 2 weeks, using mesh strainer, then coffee filters to remove zest.

From what I've read the longer the better for sitting but I don't think I'll be able to wait much longer than that for my first batch. If anyone thinks it will really need longer let me know, certainly don't want a bad product just to get to drink it one week sooner.
PHXeater
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First round of aging is done..was able to wait about 3 1/2 weeks before I got antsy to add the simple syrup.

Filtered zest out using a mesh strainer
Used an unbleached cone coffee filter for both filterations beyond that (now what to do with the remaining 98 since I have a Keurig...)

The first round of filtering through the coffee filter took a VERY long time and some patience. I considered switching coffee filters out during the first round but since it was absorbing the booze didn't want to waste any precious drops :) . I read a tip that suggested wetting the filters beforehand but was already in the middle of the process at that point. Luckily the second round of filtering through a new filter went very quickly. The plan now is to wait 2 -4 weeks depending on how impatient I am, still stored in the wine fridge at 60 degrees.

For reference here is a picture of the huge difference between post-zest removal and first round of filtering. Quite an impact...you may notice I used a decanter for this, I only had one large glass jar so had to improvise. Please ignore my "retro" kitchen countertops. After I added the simple syrup the color returned back to being somewhat cloudy looking like limoncello should look and less...um, bodily function like.


After first round of filtering on the left.
After first round of filtering on the left.
20140711_160429.jpg (14.1 KiB) Viewed 11121 times
The plan is to bottle and freeze part of it (after a good stir/shake) and then continue to age the rest. By the time the bottle in the freezer is low I will bottle the rest and do a taste test. According to all tips I've read continuing to age shouldn't cause any problems so I'm interested to see if an additional couple months at this stage makes a difference.
DMancini
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I did a batch this year.

Zest of 20 lemons using the microplane.
1 Bottle Everclear
Combined and let steep for about a month before combining with sweet milk

Sweet milk
1/2 gallon of whole milk
8 cups sugar
4 cardamom pods
2 vanilla beans split and seeded

It wound up still being pretty hot so I added a bit more 1/1 simple syrup until it hit the right spot. Problem is, how often do you really drink limoncello. So it winds up being gifts for everyone
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BarbaraToombs
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Milk?!? So this was a Crema di Limoncello? I usually use vanilla beans, and have recently added star anise to good effect. But cardamon pods sound great...will have to try!
DMancini
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Wound up more of a hybrid. But I actually liked it more than any of the cremas I've had. It wasn't quite so thick and I am actually able to drink more than a single shot.
PHXeater
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I still have a full bottle of Limoncello and am a little burnt out - any reason I can't just add milk to the current bottle to make more of a crema which I actually recently figured out I enjoy more? Can't think of any reason not to...
DMancini
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PHXeater wrote:I still have a full bottle of Limoncello and am a little burnt out - any reason I can't just add milk to the current bottle to make more of a crema which I actually recently figured out I enjoy more? Can't think of any reason not to...
Can't see any reason why it shouldn't be fine. I used Danzeisen whole milk. Just don't add any more sugar unless it needs it.