Thursday, March 12, 2009

DIY Liqueur

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.



14 lemons
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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add simple syrup; stir and reseal. Return to its spot and let sit two more weeks.
  4. 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.
The fish bottle I bought is from World Market and cost less than $10. I doubled the recipe and ended up with enough for the whole bottle plus was able to almost fill the original vodka bottle. It makes A LOT and a little goes a long, long way. In fact, it's almost too sweet for hubby (and he loves sweet liqueur), so mixing it with some club soda and serving it over ice might be the way to go.

Simple Syrup


2.5 cups water
3 cups sugar

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
Fun note about zesting all those lemons... hubby found my 28 nude lemons in the garage fridge (remember, I'd doubled the recipe). He was curious... I told him that the kids and I had zested them all so he could use them in his Jack LaLanne juicer and he was so happy! He was probably happier about that than the eventual gift of the liqueur. He is very easy to please :o)

1 comment:

  1. This looks fun. I love lemon anything.

    Have you ever made homemade vanilla using rum or vodka and vanilla beans? Similar technique to the lemon recipe but with split vanilla beans....the longer you leave it the richer the flavor.