It's that time of year again. Lemon time. Our tree is covered in hundreds of lemons that are all in varying stages of ripeness. Luckily, they don't have to all be picked at once, so we'll spread out the lemon love through April. There are far too many lemons to just use in every day life, even with giving way as much as we can in the neighborhood citrus exchange, so we use them in all sorts of recipes that we can gift over the holidays.
First up is limoncello, the gift that keeps on giving. There are recipes all over the web with varying steeping times, but here's the scaled down version of what we're doing.
1 750ml bottle of vodka - apparently you can use rotgut and some recipes recommend Everclear, but we're going with our standby Smirnoff that is available in the big bottles at Costco.
10 lemons - again, we adjust a bit because our tree lemons can be 2-3 times larger than the ones in the store.
After steeping: 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar made into a simple syrup (if you want it sweeter then make more syrup - the recipes vary)
Peel the lemons, making sure that you avoid peeling the white pith. Put into a sealable container (we use a half gallon canning jar) and pour the vodka over it. Mix thoroughly and close up. Let sit for 4 days to a month. Again - the recipes vary. We'll let ours sit for about a week. At that point, the peels have lost their color completely and seem to be devoid of their lemony goodness.
Pour syrup into jar and let sit overnight at room temp.
The next day, strain the liquid to remove the peels and any other solids. Pour into prepared fancy bottles. We're also pouring some into old school canning jars and adding a bootleg style label for that backwoods hick look.
Refrigerate/freeze and enjoy.