A few days ago, I posted Part I of the Four-Citrus Limoncello Experiment. As I had hoped, the method that I used – using both finely zested peels and fresh squeezed juices – allowed me create a delicious liqueur in less time than the traditional method of making Limoncello. The addition of other flavors other than lemon – grapefruit, orange, and lime – was just for fun. The recipe, posted at the bottom, makes a liqueur which is both sweet and tart, like a traditional Limoncello; and like a traditional Limoncello is slightly viscous. The flavor, however, is a bit mellower, making it very easy to sip. I was in a hurry to produce this batch because I want to use it to make a Limoncello Sorbet to serve between courses at Christmas dinner. Oh, yum, I can hardly wait!
Since I used finely grated zests, rather than large pieces of peels, and also included juices from the citrus fruits, I wasn’t sure for how long I was going to have to let the liqueur infuse. When I tasted it this morning, which was 3.5 days after starting the batch, I was very happy with the results. I tried to strain it through a coffee filter, but was barely able to get enough liqueur to fill the glass that I wanted to use for photos; so I resorted to straining it several times through a very fine mesh strainer which seemed to work well.
(Makes about 1.75 quarts)
(1) Wash and dry:
• 6 lg. lemons,
• 2 lg. oranges,
• 2 lg. limes, and
• 1/2 lg. grapefruit.
(2) Zest the fruits, removing just the colored portion of the skin, leaving the white pith behind. (Use a microplane grater to zest lemons, oranges and limes. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the zest from the grapefruit, then chop the grapefruit zest.) Combine and measure the zest from the fruits. You should have about 3/4 c. of zest, packed down.
(3) Juice the fruits and strain out the pulp out before measuring. You should have about 2 1/2 c. of juice remaining.
(4) Combine the zest and juice with:
• 2 c. granulated white sugar.
(5) Divide juice mixture evenly between two 1-quart mason jars. Top off jars with:
• 3 3/4 c. 80-proof vodka ( 1 3/4 c. + 2 T. per jar).
(6) Shake well. Place jars in a freezer. Shake jars every day and taste a spoonful of the liqueur to determine when you have achieved the desired flavor. This should be about 3 – 4 days. Strain Limoncello through a very fine strainer into clean glass container(s). Store in the freezer until serving. Salute!
Several people kindly sent Limoncello links to me after the first post.
• Giadia di Laurentiis’ recipe, which also requires just a few days.
• Nostrana’s recipe, which involves suspending whole lemons above the alcohol to be infused.