When life gives you lemons …. Grab some vodka and make Limoncello!
I love giving gifts of food I have made to friends and family at Christmas time and each year promise myself that I will make some Sloe Gin, but of course Sloe Gin needs to steep for about 12 weeks which means by the time the sloes are ripe there is insufficient time to prepare for Christmas. Sloe Gin is the long game but Limoncello on the other hand is quick and easy and takes only a couple of weeks until it is drinkable. The recipe below has worked perfectly and mine is ready to bottle and give as gifts over the coming weeks.
6 Unwaxed Lemons (avoid waxed lemons as you want the natural flavour of lemon)
1Litre Vodka (Supermarket own brand will do)
750g Caster Sugar
Zest the 6 lemons, avoiding the pith as this will make your Limoncello bitter
Place the zest in the bottom of a 2 litre jar that you can seal tightly ( I used the Kilner jar from their Sloe Gin making set)
You may like to use the juice from the lemons to make a sorbet, a great dessert standby to keep in the freezer (for up to one month – recipe to follow)
Add the vodka and leave to steep for one week. Turn the jar each day.
At the end of one week, make a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar and water in a pan. Bring to boiling point but do not allow the syrup to turn a caramel colour as this will spoil the look of your Limoncello.
When cool, add to your lemon vodka mix and leave for another week. Again turning each day.
When you are ready to bottle, strain through a fine sieve or muslin and pour into your bottles. Label and gift to those deserving friends on Santa’s Nice not Naughty list.
Add instructions to the labels as follows
This sweet lemony syrup is delicious over ice, in iced tea, in cocktails or drizzled over ice cream or sorbet!
You can also add a recipe for a Limoncello Prosecco Cocktail
6 sprigs Mint, fresh
1 measure Raspberries, frozen
1 measure Limoncello liqueur
3 measures Prosecco
Serve chilled in a glass