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Making Limoncello

After 4 years of doing nothing, our lemon tree finally produced lemons.  About 250 of them.  Of course they finally ripened about 3 days before we had to sell our house.  So we picked them all, and bagged them up. I decided to juice about 40 of them, and can the juice for later use.  And that left me with a big pile of lemon rind.  Never wanting to waste good citrus zest, I decided to make Limoncello.

The first step was to carefully fillet off all the pith, keeping only the yellow zest.  I used a very sharp knife, and much patience.

Once I had a quantity of zest, I distributed it evenly in 3 pint mason jars.  I then divided a 5th of Everclear grain alcohol, making sure the zest in each jar was covered with alcohol.  Then, off to the cupboard for seven days.


I eagerly checked on the jars each day.  I could tell that each day took more color out of the zest.  The alcohol was taking on more yellow, and the zest was appearing pasty and dry.  After a week, I removed the jars, and strained the alcohol.  The remaining zest was white, brittle, and only slightly flexible.


I then mixed 5cups of sugar with 7 cups of water.  I heated the syrup slowly, just until it turned clear and simmered.  As you can see, the alcohol and the syrup are both transparent at this point.

As soon as you combine the two, they become cloudy.   I poured the liquor into bottles, labeled and sealed them, and put them in the freezer.  Limoncello is intended to be enjoyed cold.

Since then, Dess has enjoyed it straight, and I’ve mixed it with Tonic Water.

This post was also entered into the Grow Your Own competition

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3 Responses to “Making Limoncello”


  1. 1 Jme February 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    WOW!! Graham I’ve already subscribed to your blog! Right along with Clare’s!! 🙂 Inspiring me to try some craziness like this!

    Looking forward to more.

    BY THE WAY – I love the labels!

    Jamie

  2. 2 Sara February 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Yum to everything so far! Pickles! Limoncello! Yum!

    Especially I love the labels, um – hilarious.


  1. 1 “Grow Your Own” roundup #39 | House of Annie Trackback on June 11, 2011 at 12:20 am

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