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Making Limoncello

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#61 bvus

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Posted 02 August 2004 - 10:30 AM

Katie:


Thanks for the recipe. It turned out great. :smile:

I did a little further experimentation on your recipe and here's the results:

I took a portion of the batch and substituted some very strongly flavored buckwheat honey that I got from a bee keeper at the local farmer's market for some of the sugar in the "simple syrup". The new mixture did not taste as clean and fresh as the original, but it took on a new complexity. It transformed into a very different drink. After that, I took some of the buckwheat honey laced limoncello and mixed it with some hot Darjeeling tea. I served it to guests after dinner. Kind of like an alcoholic tea with lemon and honey. It is important to not get the limoncello too hot or it will cause the alcohol to evaporate. Next I think I am going to try throwing some of this in the ice cream maker.

B

#62 KatieLoeb

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Posted 02 August 2004 - 10:34 AM

Katie:


Thanks for the recipe.  It turned out great.  :smile:

I did a little further experimentation on your recipe and here's the results:

I took a portion of the batch and substituted some very strongly flavored buckwheat honey that I got from a bee keeper at the local farmer's market for some of the sugar in the "simple syrup".  The new mixture did not taste as clean and fresh as the original, but it took on a new complexity.  It transformed into a very different drink.  After that, I took some of the buckwheat honey laced limoncello and mixed it with some hot Darjeeling tea.  I served it to guests after dinner.  Kind of like an alcoholic tea with lemon and honey.  It is important to not get the limoncello too hot or it will cause the alcohol to evaporate.  Next I think I am going to try throwing some of this in the ice cream maker.

B

Now THIS is brilliant! An excellent idea that sounds like it yields intriguing results.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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#63 merlin

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Posted 02 August 2004 - 10:41 AM

What an intriguing thread. I just happened to notice it as I was scrolling down to reply to another topic.

Will have to get cracking and whip up a batch using Katie's recipe.

I was wondering, has anyone tried a brand called "Lemonce"? I have seen it advertised in a number of wine and spirit and other "foodie" magazines.

The only quibble I have with limoncello generally is that I find it too sweet. I like the tartness of lemons.

The Lemonce adds suggest without specifically stating that it may be more lemony/tarter than others.

#64 fatdeko

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Posted 02 August 2004 - 01:23 PM

My complaint/suspicion with using a microplane is if the room I'm planing in is so filled with lemony goodness, it won't be going into my 'cello. It seems like a pretty brutal process, ripping those precious oils out of the peel and spraying 'em all over everything except the booze.
Just a thought.

#65 andiesenji

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Posted 02 August 2004 - 02:57 PM

Has anyone ever made the fermented lemonade popular in Victorian times?
It has a low percentage of alcohol but is very easy to make, being simply lemons cup up and placed in a large jar with sugar (1 cup of sugar for every 5 large lemons or 6 small ones) then topped up with lemon juice and covered loosely.
every morning and every evening the lemon mass is sort of churned by pressing down with a ladle in the center of the mass which forces the outside ones to push up to the top.

There was always a large container of the stuff "working" in the kitchen during the months that lemons were readily available.

After a couple of days you begin to see bubbles percolating through the mass and it takes on a definite aroma, very pleasant.
We used to have it, a ladle full poured over cracked ice in a tall iced tea glass, then filled with seltzer water from the soda siphon.
Diluted this way it was probably .2% alcohol or less.
Sometimes the cook and her helper made it in bigger batches and bottled it.
My cousins and I used to fight for the chance to operate the bottle capper. Such fun!

It is interesting that although we were allowed this and similar mild alcoholic beverages even as children, none of my cousins or I ever had a problem with alcohol. (or drugs, etc.)

My very Victorian great grandmother felt that this beverage was excellent for "cooling the blood" when we had been running about like a bunch of wildings in the heat of the summer. Sometimes she added some herbs to the mixture to get a different flavor, and to make it more medicinal. Still tasted good though.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#66 JAZ

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 10:54 AM

Katie, remember when this topic came up a year ago or so and you had this divine list for summer practical applications of the stuff?  My fave was over ice cream........ :smile:

Over ice cream. Drizzled on buttery pound cake with fresh berries. In iced tea. In a cocktail glass with vermouth or Lillet blonde. Ice cold in small sippable shots. Ice cold in large poundable shots. :biggrin:

Really the possibilities are endless. Think of all the ways you'd love to incorporate an intense lemony flavor into anything and there you are.

In a recent column, Gary Regan has a recipe for a variation on the margarita made with tequila, limoncello and lemon juice. Plus a recommendation on a not-too-sweet brand.

click here

This makes me think that a lemon drop made with limoncello instead of simple syrup might be a really good idea.

#67 Mulcahy

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:21 AM

This is the brand offered at Babbo in New York City. I think it is the best of all the commercially available brands that I have tasted. A hint of sweetness, but with a very clear lemon flavor.

#68 Chloe

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 05:08 AM

Today I am determined to pick enough lemons to make limoncello! The lemons on my "farm" are wonderful big lumpy things - heaven knows what variety.

What I am wondering is what to do with all those mangled lemons I'm going to be left with. Any inspirational ideas?

Chloe
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#69 andiesenji

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 12:39 PM

Today I am determined to pick enough lemons to make limoncello! The lemons on my "farm" are wonderful big lumpy things - heaven knows what variety.

What I am wondering is what to do with all those mangled lemons I'm going to be left with. Any inspirational ideas?

Chloe
rainy North Portugal

see my earlier post regarding fermented lemonade.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#70 jess mebane

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 09:48 PM

Today I am determined to pick enough lemons to make limoncello! The lemons on my "farm" are wonderful big lumpy things - heaven knows what variety.

What I am wondering is what to do with all those mangled lemons I'm going to be left with. Any inspirational ideas?

Chloe
rainy North Portugal

Inspiration isn't my strong suit, but electric lemonade is....h'bout you? bonus with mint.

#71 KatieLoeb

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 07:01 AM

Hey everyone:

Seems that not only a trend, but an article was spawned from this thread. Today's LA Times includes an article by Charles Perry that expounds on the joys of Limoncello.

Taste of Thousand Lemons

I'm not sure if Mr. Perry left out the one lime I usually add based on his own experiments with the recipe, or whether it was an oversight. Nonetheless, credit was duly given to eGullet, so I'm very pleased.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#72 Mulcahy

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 08:02 AM

Nonetheless, credit was duly given to eGullet, so I'm very pleased.

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And to you! As it should be. Congrats.

#73 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 08:16 AM

Nonetheless, credit was duly given to eGullet, so I'm very pleased.


Don't be so modest!

This is based on the recipe given on eGullet.com by forum host Katie Loeb.



You go, Katie.

#74 KatieLoeb

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 08:18 AM

:blush: Aw shucks! You guys are going to swell my head... :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
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Cheers!
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#75 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 08:20 AM

By the way, I made some kickass Meyer limoncello in the late spring. I've found that it doesn't taste too much different from regular limoncello (or at least high-quality limoncello) but the aromatics really come out well.

I gave a couple of bottles away as gifts, and have been drinking the rest steadily over the summer. My favorite serving method is to add a shot or two to a glass of fresh lemonade or fizzy lemonade. The perfect way to a great summer buzz...

#76 viva

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 09:25 AM

Katie, your recipe also inspired me to make my first batch of not only limoncello but "orangecello" as well. They're about done infusing, and should be ready for the simple syrup treatment in a couple of days. I can't wait!
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#77 arielle

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 02:00 PM

Glad that others like the stuff too! Lemoncello was one of the first things that I made when I learned to cook! - my Mum had an amazing Italian recipe book that covered many regions, local ingredients and specialties, and explained the significance of holiday meals etc. There was a recipe for lemoncello, so I made some and macerated the peel for 2 months!!!! By the time it was ready, I had progressed to baking, so I made some almond biscotti to go with it!!!!!
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#78 mdt

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 02:04 PM

Katie, your recipe also inspired me to make my first batch of not only limoncello but "orangecello" as well.  They're about done infusing, and should be ready for the simple syrup treatment in a couple of days.  I can't wait!

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I have made "Orangecello" before, although from an old family recipe and not Katie's, and you will be pleased with the results.
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#79 KatieLoeb

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 02:08 PM

I can't tell all of you how gratifying it is to be the anointed "Limoncello Queen" of eGullet. :biggrin: I just love hearing everyone's stories and new ideas for recipes. This has been such fun and I look forward to continuing to hear about everyone's adventures with infusing their own spirits - be they limoncello or whatever.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#80 mrbigjas

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 07:16 PM

I can't tell all of you how gratifying it is to be the anointed "Limoncello Queen" of eGullet. :biggrin:  I just love hearing everyone's stories and new ideas for recipes.  This has been such fun and I look forward to continuing to hear about everyone's adventures with infusing their own spirits - be they limoncello or whatever.

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i've got a bottle of limoncello going right now. 10 lemons and a lime microplaned into a bottle of 100-proof absolut. i did them about a week ago, maybe a week and a half, and i shake it every time i wander by. the shreds are so small from the microplane, though, that i have to wonder at this point how much more infusing is really going on at this point. i'll let it go for a while longer anyways. i wonder how i know when it's ready.

#81 KatieLoeb

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 07:26 PM

i've got a bottle of limoncello going right now.  10 lemons and a lime microplaned into a bottle of 100-proof absolut.  i did them about a week ago, maybe a week and a half, and i shake it every time i wander by.  the shreds are so small from the microplane, though, that i have to wonder at this point how much more infusing is really going on at this point.  i'll  let it go for a while longer anyways.  i wonder how i know when it's ready.

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James:

You'll know it's ready when all of the color has leeched out of the little shreds of peel and the vodka doesn't seem to be getting any more visibly yellow. When you shake it and the little shreds are dead white, then it's done. Usually takes anywhere from 2-3.5 weeks.

Strain it through cheesecloth or a coffee filter and squeeze the hell out of it to get the last of the oils out of the peels. It might cloud up the end result a little bit, but a lot of flavor is in those last few wringings out of the peels.

Let me know how it turned out!!

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
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#82 mrbigjas

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 07:39 PM

definitely--thanks for the info!

#83 Lexica

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 12:08 PM

A couple of mentions of limoncello I came across on the web this morning:

- An article on lemon verbena in the Washington Post includes this suggestion:

Speaking of drinking: chop about one-half cup of lemon verbena leaves and steep them in four cups of vodka for an intensely flavored spirit garnished, of course, with a sprig of lemon verbena. Some imbibers add sugar to create a limoncello-like liqueur.

(Unfortunately, my verbena plant is not happy, so no fresh leaves for me. I may try making a small batch using dried to see how they turn out.)

- The blog World On A Plate has a recipe for Torta di Limoncello. Mmm.

[edit: just found another]
- The blog loveSicily has a recipe for Dolce di ricotta al limoncello bianco.

Edited by Lexica, 22 September 2004 - 12:16 PM.

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#84 Daniel

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 12:22 PM

I was always a big fan of limoncello until one day i tried this grappa called aqua di cedro. I found it alot less syrupy then limoncello.. Have any limoncello fans tried this and what are your comparisons.

#85 Mrs. P

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 07:18 AM

I started a limoncello back in late July using 80-proof vodka (Stoli). I strained it about a month later, and added another bottle and simple syrup, but found it very strong (vodka flavor overpoering the lemon) and decided to let it rest a while longer. This week I added more simple syrup and a bit of water, and it is starting to smooth out, though I was worried about watering it down. A friend suggested that grain alcohol is better to use and imparts a sweeter flavor.

I've had homemade limoncello before and found it much smoother that what I have made. Any thoughts as to which alcohol makes for better limoncello?

#86 helenjp

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 07:25 AM

Not sure, but when I make infused spirits Japanese-style, I find that the recommended 3 months maturation is not enough - I usually leave them a year. The less sugar you use, the longer maturation period you need to obtain a smooth flavor.

#87 fatmat

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 07:37 AM

In January Seville Oranges hit the shops in the UK. I was going to experiment with making 'Orancello'. Has anyone experimented with this??

#88 KatieLoeb

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 07:45 AM

I started a limoncello back in late July using 80-proof vodka (Stoli).  I strained it about a month later, and added another bottle and simple syrup, but found it very strong (vodka flavor overpoering the lemon) and decided to let it rest a while longer.  This week I added more simple syrup and a bit of water, and it is starting to smooth out, though I was worried about watering it down.  A friend suggested that grain alcohol is better to use and imparts a sweeter flavor. 

I've had homemade limoncello before and found it much smoother that what I have made.  Any thoughts as to which alcohol makes for better limoncello?

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Grain alcohol will absolutely yield a harsher end result than high proof vodka. No question about it. Even grain alcohol that's diluted with water is harsher than a better filtered vodka. The "sweetness" in Limoncello is from the fruit and the simple syrup. If grain alcohol were so sweet and appealing, people would drink it instead of sterilizing lab equipment with it, no?

I recommend finding a vodka whose flavor and level of smoothness you like before it becomes limoncello. Make sure you use enough fruit to get a deep yellow color in the infusion after several weeks (or even months if you're patient enough) before sweetening and diluting to taste. I also recommend the microplane for removing the zest since you expose more surface area with the little shreds of peel than you do with strips of peel removed with a vegetable peeler or paring knife.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#89 Mrs. P

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 07:57 AM

Thanks Katie & helenj - This is why egullet is so marvelous!

Katie, your comments about grain alcohol make sense, and I have to admit that the grain alcohol option does sound a lot harsher. I might try it anyway as a taste-test.

The microplaning did work very well, and there is a pronounced lemon flavor and color. I think that you might be right about the taste of the alcohol I used - it might not have been the best choice. Perhaps I'll add a bit more lemon peel now to see if that helps offset the vodka's own flavor.

I'll test other vodkas and try again, and in the meantime let my limoncello rest!

Thanks for the tips!

#90 slkinsey

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 08:51 AM

It is worthy of pointing out, of course, that commercial makers of limoncello use high proof neutral spirits.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey





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