Who said "home ec" only consisted of sewing potholders or baking cupcakes? You can have fun in the kitchen making an exotic liqueur -- best of all, it's work that is done in stages, so you have plenty of time to relax and build up a big thirst.
This recipe for limoncello comes from the OC Register's November 27, 2008 edition. I found the recipe and immediately saw the possibilities for an excellent and unusual homemade Christmas gift for my husband. I enlisted the help of my 11-year-old son for the zesting of the lemons, which was a huge help. For a modest fee he may consider helping you, too.
4 cups grain alcohol (I used a modest-priced vodka like Smirnoff's instead)
3 cups simple syrup (recipe following)
Cook's Notes: really cheap alcohol can give this drink a gasoline-like flavor.
- Wash, dry and peel lemons, trimming away any white pith. Put peels in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid (I used a Rubbermaid container, which was fine). You won't use the rest of the lemon in this recipe, so make Chicken Picatta for dinner or some lemonade.
- Add alcohol and seal. (I duct-taped the top just to make sure it didn't pop off.) Place in a cool, dry spot away from sunlight. Let sit for two weeks.
- Add simple syrup; stir and reseal. Return to its spot and let sit two more weeks.
- Strain liqueur through a double layer of cheesecloth into a pitcher or other easy-pouring vessel. Strain again through the cloth into individual jars or bottles. I used a dishcloth and strained it into a bowl. Then I used a measuring cup and poured straight into bottles using a funnel. No problem.
2.5 cups water
3 cups sugar
- Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat a bit and keep mixture at low boil for the next five minutes.
- Set aside to cool in pan. Store in clean glass jar in refrigerator for up to one month if you're not planning to use it right away.