Limoncello is a citrus-flavored alcoholic drink made from a few basic ingredients – superior quality, organic lemons, alcohol, sugar and water. It is a delicious liqueur that is served cold, often over crushed ice. Due to its clean, distinct flavor, it is also used in mixed cocktails.
This drink has its roots in Southern Italy. There are many hypotheses surrounding its history – some even going back to the Middle Ages. It was, reportedly, drunk by monks to lift their spirits between prayer sessions as well as by fishermen and peasants who used Limoncello for a bit of early morning warmth before starting their day. Limoncello was traditionally made by many Italian families because of the high quality varieties of the lemons grown in areas of southern Italy,
It appears that Limoncello was not marketed commercially, on any large scale until 1988 when the family of the businessman Massimo Canale registered the first ‘Limoncello’ trademark.
- 8-10 organic lemons, well washed and dried
- 3 cups vodka, 80- or 100-proof
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Remove the zest from all the lemons, by shredding (grating) or cutting into fine strips with a vegetable peeler. Avoid the white pith.
- Remove the pith with a sharp knife and cut the fruit into thick slices. Halve the slices.
- Put the zest, lemon and alcohol into a jar or jug, cover, and leave at room temperature for about 4 days.
- Combine the sugar and water and stir, while heating, until dissolved. Boil for two minutes.
- Set the syrup aside to cool and then chill.
- After four days, strain the alcohol-lemon mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
- Add the syrup to taste. Start with ½ cup, taste, and adjust!
- Pour into an attractive bottle and chill well before serving as is or over crushed ice.