Limoncello (yet again)

At the urging of Carol, I’ve decided to share the secret family recipe for the yummiest summer drink imaginable – limoncello. Keep in mind that you can make this recipe with vodka, but Keri and I come from a family who pronounces “Willow Creek” as “Willa Crick,” so we use 190-proof pure grain alcohol. Sorry boys, we’re already taken.

Here you go:

Using a peeler or microplane, remove the peels from twelve organic lemons and 1 organic lime. (You’ve gotta use organic otherwise the nasty chemicals will leach into your booze. Blech.)

Place the peels into an airtight container like a big mason jar and cover with one 750 ml. bottle of Everclear. Put the jar in a cupboard, let it sit, and shake it occasionally until the alcohol turns bright yellow and the peels have barely any color left in them. With Everclear this usually takes two or three days – with vodka it takes a couple of weeks.

Filter through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a large bottle or jar and press down to remove all the alcohol and oils that you can from the peels.

Put four cups of sugar and four cups of water in a saucepan. Lightly boil this until the sugar is dissolved. Let this mixture sit until it’s cool, then add it to the strained alcohol (if you add it to the alcohol while it’s hot, the mixture will turn cloudy.) Some people say that you need to then let this mixture sit for another couple of days, but I don’t really see the point in this.

You’re all done! You can add filtered water or more simple syrup if it’s too strong for you.

Limoncello tastes great straight from the freezer. We add it to lemonade, ice tea, seltzer water and fruit juices. We make a lovely martini with citrus vodka, limoncello and a scoop of lemon sorbet on top (that one’s DANGEROUS.) It’s also great poured over ice cream, splashed over pound cake and slowly drizzled down someone’s sleek muscular abdomen.



14 responses to “Limoncello (yet again)

  1. Yup, pretty close. You can get it up here in Oregon but you have to ask for it (it’s behind the counter). Wink, wink…

  2. Everclear…..Woooo Doggie. It’s something like 180 proof alcohol. Almost straight grain hooch. Talk about clearing your sinuses. If you live that long.

  3. The stuff I use is pure grain and 190 proof, but don’t tell them at the California border…or do they only check for fruit?

  4. Limoncello is what got Clooney and DeVito so messed up in NY it made the papers. DeVito was on TV the next morning, still looped, and explaining that he didn’t think 8 or 9 limoncellos would do THAT much. Good stuff and thanks for the recipe.

  5. In the United States, Everclear is a brand of grain alcohol (ethanol), available at concentrations of 95% alcohol (190 proof) and 75.5% (151 proof).[1] By contrast, hard liquors such as rum and vodka generally contain 40% alcohol (80 proof). Everclear is manufactured by Luxco (formerly the David Sherman Corporation).[2]It is illegal to purchase the 190 proof version in certain states in the US, including California, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota,[3] Pennsylvania, and Michigan.[citation needed] Due to Everclear’s lack of sugar and impurities (congeners), it may make drinkers less vulnerable to hangovers. However, the lack of a strong flavor tends to promote overconsumption. Everclear is usually mixed into an alcoholic beverage, and is highly flammable.

  6. My roomates and I once drove to Brookings just to pick up a bottle of Everclear. Ah, college daze…

  7. Carol,You and Greg have an open invitation to come out to the ranch and imbibe in some luscious limoncello…on one condition…that you never share this blog with you-know-who. And you really do know who. xoxox

  8. A true Everclear tale from my distant past: When I was 20-something, I took a hitchhiking trip north to Washington to see a former girlfriend. The visit did not go as planned, but that’s another story. On my way home I got picked up by a car full of wild Oregonians, thinking back, I suspect they may have been tweakers. I told them I was headed back to California and they thought that sounded exciting. “Whaddya say guys, shall we drive down to California?” They immediately agreed to take me all the way back to Humboldt. Cool. Then they started passing this bottle around. “What is it?” I wondered. “Liquid fire,” I was told, and it wasn’t too far from the truth. They were chugging it straight from the bottle. Fortunately the driver was just sipping. They didn’t mind that I only wanted one sip. So we were on the way, I’m thinking I’m home free. “But we do have to make one stop,” one of them told me. No problem. It was kind of late, but I figured I could sleep later. We pull into Portland and they park behind this place, I think it was called Victoria Station, a restaurant put together from old dining cars. One of them goes in the back door. A dishwasher comes out with him and they pop open the trunk. It’s full of automatic weapons. As the dishwasher was checking out the wares I suddenly remembered, “Hey, I have a friend in Portland I haven’t seen for a long time,” and thank them for the ride, then go off searching for a freeway on-ramp. At least the Everclear had left me with a warm feeling inside.

  9. And then there’s always the guy who swears that he can drink a straight shot of Everclear.Stop him. This is something you do not want to see.

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