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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Limoncello de la Casa

In 2008, our daughter Jenny stayed in our Casita for several weeks with some friends. While they were here, they planted a couple of citrus trees and a mango tree as "gifts" for us. One of the citrus trees did not survive, but the other two are having bumper crops this year. The citrus tree that did survive is a lemon tree that goes by several names here in Costa Rica. It is called Limón Real, Limón Limón, Limon Arrugada (wrinkled lemon,) and in Venezuela it is call Limón Francés.

This lemon has a very thick wrinkled skin and an unbelievable amount of juice. I'd have to say, these are about the best tasting lemons I have ever had.

Since we have this bumper crop, I've been coming up with ways to use all these lemons and this time I decided to try my hand at making Limoncello. Oh my!!! This stuff is awesome and so easy to make!

10-12 large lemons
750 ml bottle of 80-100 proof vodka, or clear rum
1-4 cups of sugar
1-4 cups of water

  1. Peel the lemons with a potato peeler. Try to only peel the zest from the lemons with a little pith as possible.
  2. Pack the lemon zest peels in a quart jar and completely cover with the vodka or rum. Place a lid on the jar to seal it.
  3. Infuse the alcohol with the flavor of the lemon by storing the jar in a dark place for 3-4 weeks. The longer you let it sit, the more lemony the Limoncello.
  4. Strain the lemon zest out of the alcohol by pouring it through a large coffee filter into a clean pitcher. Discard the zest
  5. Make a simple syrup with equal portions of sugar and water. Heat the sugar in the water until the sugar is completely dissolved, and then let the syrup cool completely.
  6. Add syrup to taste to the infused alcohol. I found that 1½ cups of syrup is perfect for our taste, but feel free to experiment to get it the way you like it best.
  7. Use a funnel to transfer the Limoncello into a clean liter bottle, and store it in the refrigerator for about 4 hours before serving.
Use it as an after dinner treat to cleans the palate, over ice cream, or just for sipping. The Limoncello should keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of months, or up to a year in the freezer.

¡Buen Provecho!

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