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homemade limoncello

It’s funny how sometimes there are products that we’re so used to buying from a store that we don’t even realize they can be made at home.  Think, marshmallows [1]Soft pretzels [2]Biscotti. [3] Granola. [4]

And Limoncello.  Real Limoncello is made from a grain alcohol like Everclear, but just the thought of that stuff makes me feel a little nauseous (there’s a reason it’s still illegal in about twenty states), so I’m using vodka for this version.  I also left mine unsweetened, but I’ll explain in the recipe where to add a simple syrup if you want to. 

Because, really, this is just a one-step process.  The lemony flavor of the rinds gets slowly absorbed into the vodka, leaving you with a hint of lemon and no bitterness.  I still wouldn’t drink this straight, but it would be delicious with some seltzer or lemonade for an extra little kick.  But if you want this for your next dinner party, better think ahead — the longer it steeps the better, with two weeks as an absolute minimum. 

Homemade Limoncello Recipe

2 lemons
1 cup vodka
1 1/4 cups sugar (optional)
1 cup water (optional)

Peel the lemons carefully with a knife or very sharp vegetable peeler.  Place the peels inside the cup of vodka and freeze for a minimum of two weeks (preferably 30 days).  Serve alone, or boil together the sugar and water until dissolved and mix them together.  Use immediately, or freeze for up to 2 months.