“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” ~ Ron White
Late last year, a few friends gathered at a fellow mummy’s house to celebrate the end of the school year and brace for the coming summer holidays.
Around midnight, when all the wine was gone, our charming hostess Olivia offered us all a nightcap of home made Limoncello.
I had tried Limoncello before.
On a jaunt to Singapore, I had purchased some pricy-posh Limoncello as part of my duty free bounty. But, upon returning home, a wee on a special stick confirmed our third baby was on the way.
So the bottle of Limoncello was locked in the liquor cabinet, until such time I was able to sample.
Almost 18 months later, I had my first taste.
It was disappointing. It whiffed of lemon disinfectant, and didn’t taste much better.
In contrast, Olivia’s homemade Limoncello was absolutely delicious. It smelt like real lemons. It tasted of lemons. It was fresh, zingy and sweetly lemony. It was like summer poured over ice. So. Very. Delicious.
As I discovered, Limoncello is ridiculously easy to make.
Olivia’s Lovely Limoncello
You will need…
3 fresh large backyard grown (or otherwise pesticide free, organic) lemons, with beautiful, blemish free skin.
200ml sugar syrup*
Using a micro plane or fine grater, remove just the zest from the three lemons. (Do not grate the white pith, it will turn your Limoncello bitter.)
Combine the zest and the vodka into a large jar and shake.
Leave the jar in a cool, dark place for 10 days, shaking the jar daily.
The lemon zest will infuse it’s flavour and colour into the vodka.
When ready, strain the vodka from the zest and decant into a clean, sterilised bottle.
Add the sugar syrup and shake to incorporate. Taste. If you want a sweeter Limoncello, add more syrup.
Enjoy over lots of ice, delicious with a crushed basil leaf for garnish.
* Sugar syrup is 1 cup of sugar mixed with 1 cup of water, boiled until all sugar crystals have dissolved. It stores indefinitely in the fridge.
Using the same recipe, I made a Limeoncello, substituting West Indian lime zest instead of lemon. It was distinctly more bitter, but still tasted pretty good with tonic (but then again, what doesn’t?). Some of my all-too-willing taste testers actually preferred it to the Limoncello. Next, I want to try Rosellacello. As soon as my damn Rosellas grow more than 5cm tall and start flowering!
Needless to say, Limoncello is certainly worth a go. I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t like it, indeed, my last batch only lasted two weeks as it was splashed about for friends to try.
You just can’t beat homemade limoncello on ice at the end of a hot day, sitting on the deck, enjoying a sea breeze and good company…..