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Making Limoncello

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#181 KatieLoeb

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 10:21 PM

Hoo-wee! Lookie what I found stumbling through the Luxardo website:

Limoncello Cocktail Recipes

Yay!!

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

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#182 Judd Icious Hand

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 12:25 PM

Hoo-wee!  Lookie what I found stumbling through the Luxardo website:

Limoncello Cocktail Recipes

Yay!!  Posted Image

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I am in the process of making Orangecello. I am one of those whom likes his cello much sweeter than the tradtional variety. Perhaps it's the American in me. Anyway..

For a 750ml bottle of grain, most recipes would suggest a 2 cup water/ 2 cup sugar simple syrup. I needed 4 cups of each to get it to the sweetness I desired.
But that came with one not so desired effect, ice.

As it froze, ice crystals formed inside the drink. Obviously, 4 cups of water was a little too much for this sized bottle.

This go around I was considering going with a 2 cup water/ 3 cup sugar ratio. Do you forsee any problems with doing this? Have you ever tried this yourself?

This is my first batch of Blood Orange Cello and am quite optimistic. So I don't want to screw it up..

Edited by crusio's, 27 February 2006 - 12:28 PM.


#183 eje

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 01:44 PM

For a 750ml bottle of grain, most recipes would suggest a 2 cup water/ 2 cup sugar simple syrup.  I needed 4 cups of each to get it to the sweetness I desired.
But that came with one not so desired effect, ice. 

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Just use 2 parts sugar to one part water for your simple syrup. Should get you where you want to go.

I read somewhere that the magic number is somwhere a little above 30%/60 proof for the alcohol concentration to prevent ice crystals in most home freezers.*

* I think it was this LA Times article, "In the case of 50-proof limoncello, you may see some of the water freeze and form ice crystals on the walls of the bottle at that temperature; the part that remains liquid will be closer to 60 proof....A bottle of 60-proof limoncello will not show any freezing of this sort unless the temperature falls below 0 Fahrenheit."

edit - add LA Times article link.

Edited by eje, 27 February 2006 - 01:49 PM.

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#184 Judd Icious Hand

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 01:54 PM

For a 750ml bottle of grain, most recipes would suggest a 2 cup water/ 2 cup sugar simple syrup.  I needed 4 cups of each to get it to the sweetness I desired.
But that came with one not so desired effect, ice. 

View Post

Just use 2 parts sugar to one part water for your simple syrup. Should get you where you want to go.

I read somewhere that the magic number is somwhere a little above 30%/60 proof for the alcohol concentration to prevent ice crystals in most home freezers.*

* I think it was this LA Times article, "In the case of 50-proof limoncello, you may see some of the water freeze and form ice crystals on the walls of the bottle at that temperature; the part that remains liquid will be closer to 60 proof....A bottle of 60-proof limoncello will not show any freezing of this sort unless the temperature falls below 0 Fahrenheit."

edit - add LA Times article link.

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Hummmm Really. OK I will give the 2 to 1 a go then.

I was just thinking that perhaps such a sugar-heavy simple syrup might be TOO syrupy and change the consistency of the cello too much.

But the only way to find out for sure is to give it a try. Thanks.

The rinds should be ready by the weekend. I'll report back then.

Edited by crusio's, 27 February 2006 - 01:54 PM.


#185 eje

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 02:54 PM

Hummmm Really.  OK I will give the 2 to 1 a go then. 

I was just thinking that perhaps such a sugar-heavy simple syrup might be TOO syrupy and change the consistency of the cello too much. 

But the only way to find out for sure is to give it a try.  Thanks. 

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Though, I am a bit confused about alcohol percentages.

If you started with a 750ml bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol and added another 4-5 cups of liquid, you should have been somewhere around 80-90 proof. Nowhere near the 50 proof ice crystal forming zone.
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#186 eje

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:07 PM

Hmmm...

I seem to have an odd problem with this batch.

I steeped the microplaned zest of 12 lisbon lemons and two satsuma mandarins in 4 cups of 80 proof vodka for a couple weeks.

I've now squeezed it through cheesecloth, added simple syrup, and topped it off with vodka to fill a 1.5 liter jar.

However, it appears I have over expressed the citrus oils. I have about 1/4 inch of lemon oil floating at the top of my jar.

Should I split it into two jars and add more vodka in the hopes that adding more alcohol will allow more of the lemon oils to dissolve?

Or siphon off the lemon oil and use it for something else?

-Erik
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#187 KatieLoeb

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 10:24 PM

Hmmm...

I seem to have an odd problem with this batch.

I steeped the microplaned zest of 12 lisbon lemons and two satsuma mandarins in 4 cups of 80 proof vodka for a couple weeks.

I've now squeezed it through cheesecloth, added simple syrup, and topped it off with vodka to fill a 1.5 liter jar.

However, it appears I have over expressed the citrus oils.  I have about 1/4 inch of lemon oil floating at the top of my jar.

Should I split it into two jars and add more vodka in the hopes that adding more alcohol will allow more of the lemon oils to dissolve?

Or siphon off the lemon oil and use it for something else?

-Erik

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That's interesting. I've never had this happen to me before. I wonder if it's because I use the 100 proof vodka?? Could it be that it has more "solvent" action with the citrus oils?

Don't know what to tell you other than to perhaps add a splash of grain alcohol or something to raise the proof of the entire batch and then shake it up and see if it doesn't separate again. You can always lower the overall proof again when you dilute it with simple syrup and perhaps some bottled water.

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


#188 Moto

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 06:37 PM

the same has happened to me using 100 proof. I usually load up on the orange zest. Adding some 100 proof should do the trick. If not save it for another use, filter using a coffee filter or just leave it in. It will still be quite tasty, especially after 4-5 days in the freezer.

On the luxardo website the Refreshing with gin and tonic is my favorite. I've been maing them with tangueray since my first batch. I guess great minds think alike. I tried it and it works well with even just a splash of the cello. It also adds something special to margaritas.

#189 eje

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 02:25 PM

That's interesting.  I've never had this happen to me before.  I wonder if it's because I use the 100 proof vodka??  Could it be that it has more "solvent" action with the citrus oils?

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Thanks for the replies Katie and Moto!

Not a chemist, so not sure how the whole oils dissolving in an alcohol solution works.

There must be some point beyond which no more oil can dissolve in the alcohol and water solution (vodka). Oils don't really dissolve in water at all, so I would guess the larger the percentage of alcohol you have, the more oil you can dissolve. Probably there are nasty, complicated equations involving molecular weight and other gnarly variables.

Last year I used more or less the same recipe and it didn't happen. This year I did use a microplane and might have steeped the zest for a bit longer. It makes sense to me that the finer zest of the microplane would allow you to extract more of the citrus oils from the peels.

Following your recipe, I probably do need to add a couple more cups of vodka. I'll have to pick up a bottle of some 100 proof this weekend and see if I can get some more of the oil to dissolve. Hate to see them go to waste!

My homemade Limoncello has proved to be quite popular with my friends, so having more to give away isn't really a problem...
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#190 KatieLoeb

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 03:38 PM

My homemade Limoncello has proved to be quite popular with my friends, so having more to give away isn't really a problem...


This seems to be universally true. :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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


#191 lancastermike

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 05:28 PM

My homemade Limoncello has proved to be quite popular with my friends, so having more to give away isn't really a problem...


This seems to be universally true. :smile:

View Post


I forgot to post this. In lancaster there is a new bakery run by an Italian family who moved from Long Island. The daughters own and run it. Their father bakes bread for them. At Christmas I too them a bottle of Limoncello from the famous Loeb receipe. You'd have thought I gave them a million dollars. Dad, in particular, was thrilled. Everytime I go in and he sees me he comes out and talks to me and tells me how wonderful it was. It does make a great gift

#192 KatieLoeb

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 05:49 PM

My homemade Limoncello has proved to be quite popular with my friends, so having more to give away isn't really a problem...


This seems to be universally true. :smile:

View Post


I forgot to post this. In lancaster there is a new bakery run by an Italian family who moved from Long Island. The daughters own and run it. Their father bakes bread for them. At Christmas I too them a bottle of Limoncello from the famous Loeb receipe. You'd have thought I gave them a million dollars. Dad, in particular, was thrilled. Everytime I go in and he sees me he comes out and talks to me and tells me how wonderful it was. It does make a great gift

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:blush:
The "Famous Loeb Recipe" gets it's own tweak from everyone that tries it, but thanks for the compliment!

It remains universally true that there's never too much to give away.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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


#193 Eilen

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 12:55 PM

Hi Katie,

I'm Eilen--new here to egullet and I stumbled across this great thread. I wanted to let you know that I just now finished my first jar of limoncello. I found some ok-looking org. lemons, some with green on them and used 100 proof Smirnoff. I'll report back when it looks like it's ready.
One question--have you found any brand/type of sugar that you prefer? Or do you just use whatever's on hand?
Thanks a bunch for the great idea. Here's hoping it turns out!

Eilen

#194 mrbigjas

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 02:03 PM

My homemade Limoncello has proved to be quite popular with my friends, so having more to give away isn't really a problem...


This seems to be universally true. :smile:

View Post


I forgot to post this. In lancaster there is a new bakery run by an Italian family who moved from Long Island. The daughters own and run it. Their father bakes bread for them. At Christmas I too them a bottle of Limoncello from the famous Loeb receipe. You'd have thought I gave them a million dollars. Dad, in particular, was thrilled. Everytime I go in and he sees me he comes out and talks to me and tells me how wonderful it was. It does make a great gift

View Post


:blush:
The "Famous Loeb Recipe" gets it's own tweak from everyone that tries it, but thanks for the compliment!

It remains universally true that there's never too much to give away.

View Post


i gave a bottle to my parents last year when i made it (i don't know if you remember, but the batch was too sweet and not lemony enough for me, because i had fewer lemons in my drawer than i had thought). anyway, they don't drink all that much, so they had some left and recently had a tasting with a commercial limoncello that friends had brought over, and they said mine was definitely the clearcut winner.

i said, is that because we like sweet stuff here in america? and my dad said actually that mine was less sweet and more lemony than the other.

this recipe is a real winner. i'm actually thinking of making some kumquatcello...

#195 KatieLoeb

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 02:51 PM

My homemade Limoncello has proved to be quite popular with my friends, so having more to give away isn't really a problem...


This seems to be universally true. :smile:

View Post


I forgot to post this. In lancaster there is a new bakery run by an Italian family who moved from Long Island. The daughters own and run it. Their father bakes bread for them. At Christmas I too them a bottle of Limoncello from the famous Loeb receipe. You'd have thought I gave them a million dollars. Dad, in particular, was thrilled. Everytime I go in and he sees me he comes out and talks to me and tells me how wonderful it was. It does make a great gift

View Post


:blush:
The "Famous Loeb Recipe" gets it's own tweak from everyone that tries it, but thanks for the compliment!

It remains universally true that there's never too much to give away.

View Post


i gave a bottle to my parents last year when i made it (i don't know if you remember, but the batch was too sweet and not lemony enough for me, because i had fewer lemons in my drawer than i had thought). anyway, they don't drink all that much, so they had some left and recently had a tasting with a commercial limoncello that friends had brought over, and they said mine was definitely the clearcut winner.

i said, is that because we like sweet stuff here in america? and my dad said actually that mine was less sweet and more lemony than the other.

this recipe is a real winner. i'm actually thinking of making some kumquatcello...

View Post


Too sweet or too tart is in the eye of the beholder, or perhaps in their taste buds. I like my limoncello somewhat sweet and fairly strong, but that's me. One of the joys of making it oneself is balancing it just the way we like it. This recipe definitely makes a better end result than the commercial products I've tried.

One question--have you found any brand/type of sugar that you prefer? Or do you just use whatever's on hand?


I just use regular refined white sugar. I think Demerara would give the end product too much color and too much of a "molasses-ey" flavor. Limoncello should be bright yellow and taste like a vodka-tinged lemon lollipop, IMO.

Welcome Eilen!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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


#196 Ktepi

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:06 PM

I used ordinary vodka because it's all I could find on short notice, but it seems to have done all right -- a few months ago I made a *cello with a mystery citrus fruit I found in an Asian market (unlabeled except for price). They look a bit like small limes -- round like an orange, smooth skin, deep green tinged with yellow -- with greenish-yellow flesh and a fair number of seeds. Sweet all the way through, like a kumquat -- no bitterness at all unless you accidentally crunch a seed -- but tastes like a tarter tangerine. I thought they might be limequats, but there's no lime flavor at all.

Anyway, with half of them I made that *cello, because I thought it would be the best way not only to bring all those citrus flavors out instead of burying them in a stir-fry or something, but to keep the flavor around for a long time.

For a friend's birthday this weekend, I've combined some of that *cello with glace syrup -- one part syrup from candying more of the mystery fruits, the other from candied strawberries and blood oranges -- until it's almost cordial-sweet. She tends to like sweet drinks, and I figure this will dilute well with some club soda and tequila or something.

#197 BTR

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:16 PM

Trader Joe's actually sells an absurdly cheap grappa---absurdly cheap for grappa, that is. I assume it wouldn't be all that great straight but maybe it would make for an interesting substitute for vodka as the base for a batch of limoncello.

#198 mrbigjas

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 09:56 PM

Trader Joe's actually sells an absurdly cheap grappa---absurdly cheap for grappa, that is.  I assume it wouldn't be all that great straight but maybe it would make for an interesting substitute for vodka as the base for a batch of limoncello.

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in lidia bastianich's book lidia's italian table she has a bunch of recipes for infused grappas. maybe the TJ grappa would be good for that. limoncello grappa isn't one of them, though.

#199 Meridian

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 10:48 AM

I have had a home-made lemon liquor mellowed by the addition of a couple of peppercorns. This may be something to experiment with for the limoncello crowd. Since I do not like sweet drinks, I just add lemon peels and 2 peppercorns to a bottle of vodka and let it sit in the sun for months or until I can't stand it anymore. It is smooth going down. I will also try Katie's recipe with the addition of peppercorns to see what happens.

#200 Eilen

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 11:29 AM

I just add lemon peels and 2 peppercorns to a bottle of vodka and let it sit in the sun for months or until I can't stand it anymore. 

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Oh, is it supposed to be in the sunlight? Because I've had mine in the cupboard for almost a week. Should I take it out?

Thanks, Eilen

#201 KatieLoeb

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 03:09 PM

I just add lemon peels and 2 peppercorns to a bottle of vodka and let it sit in the sun for months or until I can't stand it anymore. 

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Oh, is it supposed to be in the sunlight? Because I've had mine in the cupboard for almost a week. Should I take it out?

Thanks, Eilen

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I keep mine in a large mouthed jar on top of my refrigerator. No specific light requirements as far as I'm aware of.

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


#202 Heidi the Pilgrim

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 03:12 PM

Hello all,

I'm brandy-new to the forums, having found you in a search for limoncello information. I've got my third (this time double) batch infusing right now, but after reading Katie's recipe I ran right to my jars, opened them up and zested in some limes - might help with the depth of flavor.

I'm a little confused about recipes, however. The one I used I found online somewhere. It called for 15 lemons, and two 750 ml bottles of 100 proof vodka, but I used a bigger 1.75 ml bottle, because I thought that was equal to two. Clearly, there is a reason I don't do math in my head.... The simple syrup is 4.5 sugar and 5 c water. They seem to be turning out great tastewise, perhaps a teeny bit sweet, but I hate to reduce the syrup because I'm afraid of it not being thick enough. Suggestions? Should I cook the simple syrup and reduce it slightly?

BTW, thanks for the info on how to make it 'cloudy', I don't like it clear, and there must be a reason it's all sold in frosted bottles (which of course I cannot find for home bottling). I'm delighted with this little pearl of wisdom!

Thanks also to Steve for the info on schnapps recipes. I'm a home gardener with an abundance of herbs and especially lemon basil and there's only so much pesto a girl can eat. My mind is simply swimming with possibilities....
:wacko:

Edited by Heidi the Pilgrim, 19 March 2006 - 03:13 PM.


#203 stevea

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 06:01 PM

Thanks also to Steve for the info on schnapps recipes.  I'm a home gardener with an abundance of herbs and especially lemon basil and there's only so much pesto a girl can eat.  My mind is simply swimming with possibilities....
:wacko:

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I would love to hear about your experience with basil schnapps. I'm hoping it would be something one could use when cooking, to give a basil flavor when the fresh stuff isn't available.

But now that you all have reminded me, I'm going to have a glass of lemoncello. Right now!
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#204 Heidi the Pilgrim

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 08:24 PM

"I would love to hear about your experience with basil schnapps. I'm hoping it would be something one could use when cooking, to give a basil flavor when the fresh stuff isn't available. "


I'm trying to imagine how I'd use it. All the schnapps I've ever had has been sweetened, whereas if you sweeten the original they call it a cordial or a liqueur. Must be different in Denmark?

The lemon basil (you have to grow it, a variety called Mrs. Burns) might be mild enough to drink, and perhaps even sweeten, but I think it might also be good as a condiment like a vinaigrette, splashed over tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. I'm definitely going to try to make peppermint schnapps this summer from their recipe. The recycling people are going to think I'm a real party girl with all those empty vodka bottles in the bin...

Limoncello envy - mine's not ready and my freezer is empty...wah.

Edited by Heidi the Pilgrim, 21 March 2006 - 08:25 PM.


#205 Eilen

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 10:52 AM

Just finished my first attempt today; I had let it sit for almost a month to make sure it was good and infused. It looks great--not super clear, but not really cloudy either. I had a little sip as it is only morning, but I'll experiment with some cocktails tonight. I'm thinking of buying a commercial brand and comparing flavors; any ideas on which brand?
And thanks for the great idea! I've got four flasks just waiting to go to friends' homes when their birthdays come around.

#206 KatieLoeb

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 05:33 PM

I'm thinking of buying a commercial brand and comparing flavors; any ideas on which brand?


The ones I've seen most often are Villa Massa and Caravella. Don't know what's available in your neck of the woods.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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


#207 Heidi the Pilgrim

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 07:31 PM

Well, I've decanted the two batches that I started, and I have to say the color is a little too pee yellow for me. Tastes OK, not great but OK, can't figure out why it seems so 'strong' or a little bitter, I didn't use anything with pith on it.

Thinking there was something to what they say about Itialian made limoncello, that it's made from mostly green lemons, I was excited to find some underripe lemons at the grocery store. While I was supposed to be shopping for Easter I instead started another batch with my half green lemons. The difference is night and day, it's now that 'neon' green, instead of just yellow. Methinks I need to make nice with the grocery manager to get those green lemons they're holding in the back of the store till they're ripe enough to sell. We'll see about how it tastes when it's done.

I still manage to drink the pee yellow stuff.......any port in a storm..... ;)

#208 pansophia

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 08:51 AM

I got my first batch started yesterday. My hubby and I had been talking about it for ages and then my parents brought home a small bottle from their recent trip to Positano...and wouldn't share! So we're finally making our own. :)

I was a bit snap happy throughout the process (and then some!) so if anyone wants to see, it's at my blog

We're considering other cello options as well. Blood oranges have started popping up in supermarkets and we recently found an Asian grocery with some unique offerings.
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#209 eje

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 09:18 AM

We're considering other cello options as well.  Blood oranges have started popping up in supermarkets and we recently found an Asian grocery with some unique offerings.

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IMO, blood oranges aren't all that exciting for 'cello. Most of the flavor is in the flesh, the zest isn't significantly different than a regular orange.

On the other hand, they're pretty cool for things like ratafias, where the juice and zest of the orange is used. I haven't ever made one; but, I think you also use the whole orange for vin d'orange.

edit - fix typo

Edited by eje, 25 April 2006 - 09:50 AM.

---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#210 Graphix

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:41 AM

hey, just wondering, did everyone here use organix unwaxed lemons? Or do waxed lemons work? I went to the grocery store today to get some organic lemons and they were 6$ for three!! $24 for a dozen!? yikes. Anyway...just wondering what my options are.
thanks
B





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