Author Topic: Limoncello  (Read 2571 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Limoncello
« on: February 12, 2012, 10:02:15 PM »
A generous friend gave me his Limoncello recipe a couple weeks back, and I just finished making it. It is beautiful stuff.

He can jump in and share it if he likes, otherwise, it is very similar to this: http://www.squidoo.com/homemade-limoncello-recipe

I used local lemons off of one of my friend's trees and let the zest steep for 8 days. They were almost white and very crispy (like a potato chip crispy) when I strained them out.

CL
Pizza is not bread.


Offline Ev

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 12:18:06 AM »
Thanks for the recipe! So, how did yours compare to you know who's?

Offline norma427

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 07:58:57 AM »
Craig,

Thanks for the recipe for Limoncello!  ;D  What kind of pure grain alcohol did you use?  I am not familar with pure grain alcohol. Is it something like moonshine?  I sure want to try to make some Limoncello. 

Looks like you did a great job!  :chef:

Norma
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Offline wheelman

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 09:01:04 AM »
great stuff!  we also make basilcello.  either make for a nice digestivo on pizza night.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 09:30:45 AM »
Thanks for the recipe! So, how did yours compare to you know who's?

It was very comparable - perhaps just a little sweeter than his.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 09:34:41 AM »
Craig,

Thanks for the recipe for Limoncello!  ;D  What kind of pure grain alcohol did you use?  I am not familar with pure grain alcohol. Is it something like moonshine?  I sure want to try to make some Limoncello. 

Looks like you did a great job!  :chef:

Norma

I used Everclear. There is another one I know of called Diesel 190 that would work fine too and is less expensive, but they were out when I went to get it. Both are 190 proof. I would not substitute vodka if grain alcohol is available. If you have no choice but to use 100 proof vodka, I'd make the simple syrup sweeter and use less of it.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline norma427

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 10:03:52 AM »
I used Everclear. There is another one I know of called Diesel 190 that would work fine too and is less expensive, but they were out when I went to get it. Both are 190 proof. I would not substitute vodka if grain alcohol is available. If you have no choice but to use 100 proof vodka, I'd make the simple syrup sweeter and use less of it.

CL

Craig,

Thanks for posting what kind of pure grain alcohol to look for.  

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline FeCheF

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 11:24:45 AM »
Craig,

Thanks for posting what kind of pure grain alcohol to look for.  

Norma

Norma, I will save you some trouble of searching for grain in PA, it was banned over 10 years ago. As far as i know, NJ liquor stores still sell it.

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 11:43:13 AM »
How about Ron Rico 151 rum. Stuff is one of the most potent that can be sold in a bar. Not Everclear but damned close!
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 11:56:40 AM »
How about Ron Rico 151 rum. Stuff is one of the most potent that can be sold in a bar. Not Everclear but damned close!

I think the issue would be the flavor. You want as close to neutral as possible. It might be good though. We know citrus and rum go well together - maybe it doesn't taste exactly like limoncello, but it still might be darn good.

CL
Pizza is not bread.


Offline Jackitup

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 12:01:56 PM »
Maybe even better!!

Jon
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 12:10:41 PM »
I look forward to your report!
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Offline FeCheF

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 12:41:57 PM »
So what the ALC % on the finished product? Im pretty sure grain is 200% and this calls for 50/50 grain/water so right there drops it to 100% then the sugar will drop it even more  :(

I would try this but would want it to be in the 125%-150% range.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 01:37:28 PM »
So what the ALC % on the finished product? Im pretty sure grain is 200% and this calls for 50/50 grain/water so right there drops it to 100% then the sugar will drop it even more  :(

I would try this but would want it to be in the 125%-150% range.

Mine calculated to be right at 40% (80 proof) alcohol by volume. Grain alcohol such as Everclear is 95%/190 proof. Limoncello at 125 proof or more, IMO, would not taste so good. Personally, I don't think I'd like it over 80 proof. Even at 80 proof, it tastes strong. At 125+, it would not be very sweet either. It would be easy enough to do the math to get it to come out at 125 or 150 proof, and if you didn't like it, you could keep knocking it down until you did.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline vitoduke

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 01:49:13 PM »
We stayed in Sorrento a few years ago and got hooked on Lemoncello. We use fresh Meyer lemons and always serve it when friends come over---Mel

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2012, 02:24:29 PM »
We use fresh Meyer lemons and always serve it when friends come over---Mel

I use Meyer lemons as well, and it comes out beautifully. Normal Florida lemons tend to be too bitter when compared to the ones used in the Amalfi coast, but the Meyers are softer and more fragrant.

I have also used blood orange with great success.

Craig - The color of your finished product is stunning, probably owing to those beautiful lemons. I am sure it tasted as good as it looked.

John

Offline FeCheF

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2012, 02:34:58 PM »
Mine calculated to be right at 40% (80 proof) alcohol by volume. Grain alcohol such as Everclear is 95%/190 proof. Limoncello at 125 proof or more, IMO, would not taste so good. Personally, I don't think I'd like it over 80 proof. Even at 80 proof, it tastes strong. At 125+, it would not be very sweet either. It would be easy enough to do the math to get it to come out at 125 or 150 proof, and if you didn't like it, you could keep knocking it down until you did.

CL

Yeah i meant 125 proof not 125% alc lol. Anyway, I was thinking of using it for "lemon drops" which is usually 100 proof vodka, slice of lemon dipped into a bowl of sugar. You take the shot, and bite and suck on the sugar coated lemon. You dont even taste the vodka if you do it right. Its like a sweet version of tequila shots with salt and a slice of lemon/lime.

Also i bet key limes would work really good aswell, although there small you probably need like 16-20 of them.

Offline Ev

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2012, 02:59:15 PM »
Boy, did this get expensive in a hurry?!
 $31 for 1.75L Smirnoff 100 proof Vodka(no Everclear in Pa.)
$10.00 for a zester. Hey, if I'm gonna do it, I may as well try to do it right, right?
$5.00 for a nice 1 gallon glass jar with a wide screw-on lid
$8.00 worth of lemons. I hope 12 is enough!
 And to top it all off, I got a parking ticket when I went to get the Vodka. I had no change and I was in the store for no more than five minutes. >:(   $15.00!!!!!! That's $3 a minute just to park my truck!!! :'(

You sure you wanna make this stuff Norma? >:D

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2012, 03:41:47 PM »
But you'll have a ton of it when you're done! At 40 proof, you should have about 2.2L.

$8 buys at least 32 lemons down here....

12 should be just right.

CL
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Limoncello
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2012, 03:45:02 PM »
Craig, the color of the limoncello in the frosted bottle looks spot on.  :)

Glad to hear the recipe worked out well for you. As with pizza, a recipe is only words, the execution is what counts and it looks like you did very well.

I feel the real differentiator in making good limoncello (and I have experimented with many batches over the past few years) is in zesting/de-rinding the lemons. Taking care to keep as much of the oil in the rind, and not sprayed all over the room from aggressive zesting, is a key to getting good flavor.  That and mitigating the amount of white pith, which adds a bitter note.

I have no problems sharing the recipe, as it was posted on my blog before I took the old version of the blog down last summer. There are likely better recipes out there besides. The final recipe that I settled on, in which the lemon peels were actually done by weight for consistencies sake, is temporarily (hopefully) lost due to a hard drive crash as you can see below. I remembered that final recipe as best I could.....and my last quadruple batch made in the summer is now gone  :-X

For those interested:

1 750mL bottle of Everclear grain alcohol (vodka does not work as well)
Zest from 10 to 11 organic lemons (regular lemons slightly preferred to Meyer)
660 grams Granulated cane sugar
750 mL water

1. Peel/zest the rinds of the lemons carefully. While it is impossible not to include some of the white pith, you want to minimize the amount of pith to avoid bitterness in the final product. In addition, you want to preserve as much of the oil in the lemon peel as possible.
 
Many of the quick zesters release quite a bit of oil while zesting. It will help speed up the time to zest the lemons, but you will lose a good portion of the oils, which are the main flavor component of the drink. I personally prefer to use a short, serrated pairing knife and gently peel the lemons with it. I make a spot check of the finished peels and remove any thick areas of pith.
 
Side note: because I am a nerd, I have actually peeled lemons using various methods under a blacklight so I could really see the oils being released into the air while peeling/zesting. It's not the most scientific method, but the serrated pairing knife seemed to be the gentlest method. It is a zen exercise for me. If there is a good sports game on TV or if it is nice outside, I like to sit and peel the lemons slowly.
 
2. Put the lemon peels/rinds in a large jar or container along with all of the grain alcohol.
 
3. Store in a dark, cool place for 10 days. The lemons will turn mostly white, having released their oils and color into the alcohol. The smell of the mixture before adding it to the simple syrup is a devilish delight of lemon essential oils and high octane pure alcohol.
 
4. Make a simple syrup of the sugar (660 grams) and the water (750mL) by stirring the sugar in the water as you heat it up.
 
5. Pour the lemon/alcohol mixture through a strainer and mix with the simple syrup (I pour the lemon/alcohol mixture through a strainer first, then through a cheesecloth and then into the simple syrup). It helps to put whatever jar(s) or bottle(s) you are pouring the limoncello into in a larger pot.....if you spill this stuff on your counter, it is VERY sticky while still warm.
 
6. Mix well and place in the freezer. Once cooled, drink!
 
Homemade limoncello is an ages old tradition in Southern Italy. Make sure at some point of the process to have some type of Italian music, preferably opera, and quite loud, playing in the background.
 
Once I have my hard drive data retrieved from a retrieval service (if they can), I'll pass along the exact recipe I had (in which the amount of lemon peel was in weight, not in number of lemons). I have tinkered with steeping basil or mint while the alcohol/lemon infusion ages, but haven't gotten the amounts down pat yet. I need to make a blood orange aranciancello this winter as well. --K
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