Making a homemade liqueur:
Limoncello is a lemon liqueur produced in the south of Italy, mainly in the region around the Gulf of Naples and the coast of Amalfi, but also in Sicily. This version is made from lemon rinds, alcohol, milk, and sugar. The resulting drink has a smooth creamy texture not unlike that of Baileys but with a fresh zesty taste. Perfect for sipping on a summer evening over ice. Because of all the sugar it may be too sickly in large amounts for some tastes but lovely in small quantities.
Crema Di Limoncello
- 2 litres neat spirit (94%)
- 20 lemons
- 4 cartons long life milk
- 4 kilos sugar
However, be warned that this produces a hell of a lot of it - 10 litres approx, so unless you are hosting a HUGE party I would suggest halving it, 5 litres is still more than enough. We used:
- 1 litre smirnoff blue label vodka (45%)
- 12 lemons (2 bags of 6)
- 2 cartons of long life (whole) milk
- 2 kilos of castor sugar
Wash your lemons and then carefilly remove the skin, making sure that none of the actual lemon nor much of the actual pith remains attached. None of the actual lemon is used to make this drink; use them sliced in drinks maybe or make a nice cake or have a competition to see who can eat one in the fastest time. I don't really care, just keep them away from the limoncello.
Now chop up the skin reasonably finely and put it in a airtight container (preferably this should be earthenware but we used tupperware). It is important at this stage that the container is not metal; I don't know why but it just is. Cover with all of the alcohol and seal.
This mixture must then be left for 12 days and stirred once a day. We left ours for 14 days and shook the container twice a day (without removing the lid to minimise evaporation).
At the end of the 12 days the vodka should be yellowish in colour and, oddly enough, taste of lemons. A few shots of this half finished mixture were sacrificed in the name of science and quality assessment. Several times. Until we felt it had passed whatever test we had decided to throw at it.
So, now find the hugest mother of a pot you have. Chances are it still won't be big enough but nevermind for now. Pour in one carton of milk and the 2 kilos od sugar. Stir while heating gently. Add as much of the second carton of milk as you can to help the sugar disolve faster. Don't heat too much because the next step is waiting for the sugary milk solution to cool.
Once cool mix with the lemon peel and vodka in a huge bowl. At this point several more shots were offered up in the name of science and quality-testing-control-whatever. Yum.
Filter the mixture with a fine wire mesh sieve and bottle in clean bottles (preferably glass). To acquire enough bottles we suggest that you make full use of the 12 previous days of waiting. Screw-top wine bottles are particularly handy, as is the original bottle of the alcohol used. Keep all of this in the fridge; it is possible to keep it in the freezer too but expect it to look really slushy and lumpy when you get it out.
Serve with cool glasses. Could be served with ice cubes or poured on ice cream. The finished product should look a lot like this:
Delicious… Now all you need is the warm sunny weather to enjoy it in.