A bit too late to make this for Christmas, but you could do it for New Year, or at least January when you need a bit of a pick-up. I love Limoncello – it is like capturing a little bit of sunshine in a bottle. The zesty lemons smell gorgeous and remind you of summer caught up in their skins, while the colour is liquid rays – AND with all those lemons it must count as one of your five-a-day…. Having said that it does give me a nasty head the next day, which may be down to quantity consumed or the cheapness of the vodka I use (spirits in plastic bottles is probably an economy too far).
I made this for the first time a few years ago and won first prize in the ‘Ladies only fruit liqueur’ class at our village show – there’s a very slim claim to fame in there somewhere.
But before the recipe, please stare in wonderment at these shoes called Limoncello:
So take 5 unwaxed lemons and peel away the zest, avoiding the white pith (bitter). Place in a jar and pour over a litre of vodka, seal the jar and lave it for 10 days in a light place. Swish it around each day to extract the sunshine. Make the sugar syrup by putting 1lb of white sugar with 16 fl oz of mineral water in a pan. Dissolve the sugar and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool the syrup and strain the vodka (which will be a beautiful yellow by now) into the pan. Stir well and decant into sterilized bottles. If you have good self-resolve leave for 2 weeks before consuming. It will keep for a year, but really?? Best served very cold, so you could pop it into the freezer and it will stay liquid.
One word of warning, you may see a recipe for a raspberry flavoured version – this tastes like Calpol and should be avoided at all costs!