My enamor with Italy has yet to be seized, so in an effort to create a little Italy in the West Village, I spent a few hours creating limoncello – my favorite summer aperitif!
When Ascanio and I were in Positano this summer, we finished most meals with sips of limoncello, and I loved every bit of it! The best lemons are found on the Amalfi Coast, so we completely immersed ourselves in all things lemon – feasting on seafood marinated in lemon, lemon tarts and cakes and lemon drinks and cocktails.
I snatched an Amalfitano recipe that I wanted to try immediately upon landing in US soil, and I was so surprised at how easy it was.
This recipe yields 2 ½ liters of limoncello – you’ll practically be bathing in it! So, if you'd rather, you can divide the recipe in half or you could produce it all and give it as a fun DIY Christmas gift. Just bottle it in small jars and garnish with a simple green bow!
1 liter Everclear Vodka (I used Titos)
6 cups of sugar
6 cups of water
Using a potato peeler, take all the lemon rids off the lemons. Make sure that there is no white pith on the peel – that would leave a bitter taste to the aperitif.
Place the rinds in a container and fill with the alcohol.
Cover the container and let it sit anywhere between four days and a month. I kept mine infusing for 3 weeks.
When your patience is up (for me, three weeks was a LONG time) and you’re itching to try some homemade limoncello, make a simple syrup with the water and sugar. Simply heat the sugar and water on a stove and stir until the sugar dissolves and the water has turned thick – into a syrup.
Once cooled, combine the simple syrup with the lemon infused vodka. Strain out the rinds.
Store the limoncello in a beautiful jar in the freezer. Enjoy!