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June 2006 San Diego Cook-in

Christine Dabney

Christine Dabney

Limoncello

Limoncello

Recipe by: KatieLoeb

Apr 1 2004:

Take the peels of one dozen lemons + 1 lime (that's the secret!) either removed with a vegetable peeler, or microplaned off. I think the infusion goes much faster with the microplaned little shreds of peel as there's more surface area exposed to the alcohol.

Place the peels into an airtight container (I use a large screwtopped jar) and cover with one bottle of 100 proof vodka (I use 100 proof Smirnoff). The higher alcohol level seems to get better extraction from the peels. Place the jar in a safe place (on top of my refrigerator works for me!) for at least two weeks, giving it an occasional shake and sniff to check on it. You'll be able to see the vodka turning bright yellow as it pulls the flavorful oils from the peels. When the peels no longer look colorful and the vodka doesn't seem to be gaining any more visible color or scent, it's done. Filter through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a large bottle or jar and press down to remove all the vodka and oils that you can from the peels. Add a 1:1 simple syrup (I usually start with 2 cups water to two cups sugar, boiled lightly until completely dissolved and syrupy and cooled off) and then thin further with approximately another 750 ml bottle of your favorite regular vodka. If it needs to be cut down or sweetened further, just use filtered or bottled water and more simple syrup. It's really a matter of taste as to how sweet and/or strong you like it. You can also make "Orangecello" the same way. It's quite tasty too!

You could, if you wanted to, use Everclear grain alcohol for the extraction, however, I find that it makes for a much harsher tasting end result. I find that the 100 proof vodka and then flavoring/thinning to taste with simple syrup, more regular decent neutral vodka (last batch I used Denaka from Denmark) and a little filtered or bottled water seems to get the best and most palatable results.

Katie M. Loeb Host, Pennsylvania
kloeb@eGullet.org

Cheers!
Beverage Consultant, Amada, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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