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.
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
How to Make It
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.
Pour 750 ml. vodka over rosemary and zest; seal container. Let sit undisturbed in a cool, dark place for 40 days.
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.
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.
Pour limoncello through cheesecloth into a large spouted pitcher and divide among gift bottles.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per ounce.
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.
This recipe is terrific! Made it with my mom yesterday and it was perfect! It turned out what we expect. If you are looking for more tasty and delicious lemon recipes -- Now is the right time to make one just watch the videos and follow list of lemon recipes at www.everything-lemon.com, www.gourmandia.com and www.gourmetrecipe.com for more exciting and delectable recipes. Have fun!!
I've made at least three batches of this and have no problem giving them away as presents. In fact, my friends clamor for "my" limoncello as birthday and Christmas gifts. The rosemary is hardly detectable but adds a nice green tone to this sweet liqueur.
The best Limencello I had ever had before this was in a little restaurant in Auronzo, Italy, a small town in the Dolomites. It was homemade by the owner, Stephano's Papa. Served ice cold in frosted glasses to my cousins and my husband and I, it was a highlight memory of the trip. When I saw this recipe I decided to see if it could come close to Stephano's Papa's. It surpassed it!! I have made three batches now and shared them as gifts with friends and family. Everyone loves it. I have made it with both Meyer and Eureka lemons, and both were good, but the Meyer were the best. It takes time but is more than worth it!!!
Absolutely outstanding! This is the BEST Limoncello we've ever had. Coming from an Itallian family we are pretty picky about our food & liquor and this was top notch! I would totally recommend it- well worth the wait!! We WILL be making it again!!
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