Rosemary Limoncello

Annabelle Breakey
Italy's Amalfi Coast and adjoining Sorrento Peninsula are the regions most famous for limoncello, an intensely lemony liqueur, traditionally served ice cold as an after-dinner drink. We've added a subtle note of rosemary. Although  the total "hands-on" cook time is only 1 1/2 hours, you'll need 14-80 days to let the lemon flavor infuse the vodka. 

Yield:

Makes 10 2/3 cups (ten 8.5-oz. bottles) (serving size: 1 oz.)

Recipe from

Nutritional Information

Calories 83
Caloriesfromfat 0.0 %
Protein 0.0 g
Fat 0.0 g
Satfat 0.0 g
Carbohydrate 10.6 g
Fiber 0.0 g
Sodium 0.3 mg
Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Ingredients

18 lemons (Meyer or Eureka; see Notes), washed and dried
One 4-in. rosemary sprig, washed and dried
2 bottles (750 ml. each) 100-proof vodka, such as Stolichnaya or Smirnoff
4 1/2 cups sugar

Preparation

1. Peel lemons with a sharp vegetable peeler, taking only the zest (top layer) and avoiding any white pith. Put rosemary in a 1-gal. glass or ceramic container with a tight seal. Add zest to jar.

2. Pour 750 ml. vodka over rosemary and zest; seal container. Let sit undisturbed in a cool, dark place for 40 days.

3. In a saucepan, bring 5 cups water to a boil and add sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Let sugar syrup cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

4. Pour syrup and remaining 750 ml. vodka over lemon-vodka mixture, stir, and seal container. Let sit in a cool, dark place for another 40 days.

5. Pour limoncello through cheesecloth into a large spouted pitcher and divide among gift bottles.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per ounce.

Note:

Either Meyer or Eureka lemons work in this recipe (the fragrant Meyer is especially good, though). To speed up the process, shorten the infusing time in steps 2 and 4 to 1 week each, and you'll have a fine although less intense liqueur. Limoncello keeps indefinitely in the freezer.

December 2007