Zio Dale’s Limoncello Recipe   1 comment

My husband has been making this stuff since he came home from Italy in June.  Here is his recipe:

Zio Dale’s Limoncello Recipe (makes about a liter)

1. Get 3 pounds of nice ripe yellow lemons and a 750 mL bottle of decent quality vodka – not the really cheap stuff.

2. Remove the rind (the yellow layer) from the lemons, trying hard not to include the white layer (pith) underneath the yellow. I used a “micro-plane” grater for this, but a shredder or sharp knife would also work.

3. Put the rind into a half gallon glass container – like a wide mouth jar. I used a jug the first time and it was difficult to empty out. Then pour the booze over the rind and cover the container to keep the bugs out of it.

4. Swirl the container once a day and let it sit in a cool dark place. This is the hard part – don’t mess with it for at least 2 weeks!  Longer is better.

5. In time, the vodka will become more yellow and the rind will become lighter in color as the lemon oil leaches out of it. Any pith from the lemon peels will also fall off and will make a white sludge on the bottom of the jar.

6. After 2-3 weeks the liquid will be quite yellow and will have that characteristic Limoncello color,  especially after mixing it up. That’s because the fabbricas in Italy leave all of the white sediment in the liquor when they bottle it.

7. Carefully strain out the chunks of lemon peel from the liquid… that’s the minimum. However, if you don’t want your Limoncello to taste like pith (kinda bitter) then you’ll need to filter it as well. I used a fine metal screen coffee filter first and then lots of paper coffee filters as a second step. Even wetting the paper filters with water first, this was a slow process. Each filter is good for less than a cup of liquid – there’s really a lot of fine sludge in it.

8. Even though it is tedious, I think that filtering is a worthwhile step. It produces a clear, golden beverage instead of the murky, light yellow stuff from the store. I think that it tastes better, too.

9. The last step is sweetening. Mix 1-1/2 cup of sugar and 1-1/2 cup of hot water in a sauce pan. Heat slowly and stir often until the sugar is all dissolved then cool to room temperature. You’ll end up with about 2 cups of syrup. Mix 1-1/2 cups into the Limoncello and test the sweetness. Add more if needed.

10. Store in the fridge.  The alcohol content is too low to prevent freezing if its stored in the freezer. Hmmm, Limoncello popsicles anyone????

Divertirsi… Zio Dale


Posted August 19, 2008 by StPaulieGrrl in Daily Life, Food & Drink

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One response to “Zio Dale’s Limoncello Recipe

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  1. Hi Zio,
    So interested to hear about your limonecello recipe as I have been helping someone here in the UK to make pure zest without any pith by using an invention of mine – an Electric Zester.
    The Zester is designed to remove just the zest without ANY PITH whatsoever!! The Zest comes off as a moist, oily pulp bursting with flavour which means a much shorter time for production without any of the bitterness produced by the pith.
    My first version, (which has been improved greatly since) can be seen on “youtube” where it is featured also showing its peeling function. Type “chappers1938” into the search window to see it in action. Let me know what you think as the commercial producer using it in the UK thinks its the best thing since sliced bread!!

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