When life gives you lemons...make limoncello!
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
This past weekend I made limoncello with my son. I've been making limoncello ever since I visited the Amalfi Coast of Italy in 2018. Before then, I only knew store bought limoncello, which is NOT EVEN REMOTELY THE SAME! Trying it in Italy and seeing how it's made was a complete game changer.
I LOVE making limoncello when the first signs of spring and summer show their heads. The bright yellow lemons, the lemony aroma, the rhythm of peeling and dropping the peels into the big glass container. Grab some family and friends around the kitchen table, put on some music and get peeling!
Here's Part 1 of the recipe - it's super easy and fool proof! I'll post Part 2 when my limoncello is ready for it in a few days!
20 organic lemons, rinsed in cold water to ensure the skins are clean of any dirt/debris
2 (750ml) bottles of 100 proof grain alcohol (I used 151 proof because it's what was available - the recipe is flexible up or down on the proof)
Peel lemons - and this is important and the tricky part - try to get as little of the white part (the "pith") as possible as it will make your limoncello bitter - sometimes I let some pith go (as you'll see below in the photos), and other times I am very adamant that there's no pith on those peels. Key takeaway - it doesn't have to be perfect!
Have fun saying phrases with the word "pith" as you peel away. A personal favorite, "don't pith me off!"
Drop those pith-less or mostly pith-less lemon peels in a clean glass or plastic container with around 2ml capacity
Pour in the alcohol, stir and store in a dark, cool place. I store mine in the kitchen pantry. If you wish, save your empty alcohol bottles for a bonus tip in Part 2!
Place a lid on top or something to keep debris out of your container as it sits.
Your limoncello is ready for Part 2 when the liquid is a bright yellow, and your peels are pale and lost most of their color. This typically takes about 7-10 days.
Bonus 1: Make some fresh-squeezed lemonade with your peeled lemons!
Bonus 2: Add the squeezed lemons to your kitchen sink disposal to freshen it up. Check your disposal's manufacturers instruction first to make sure the lemons can go in your disposal.