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Making Limoncello

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#241 Heidi the Pilgrim

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 06:14 PM

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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I can't always find organic ones, so I buy what I can get and use a fruit and vegetable wash to get the wax and whatever else off. I'm still working on my produce manager to get me some green lemons - fortunately he's Italian, and he knows what I'm after, but is frustrated because he can't seem to get them green. He was going to have his mother send them from Italy!

#242 tim

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 07:23 AM

I don't see why it wouldn't work. The reason everclear has such a bite is not because of its proof, it's because it contains lots of impurities due to a not-so-strict filtering process. Diluted down to the same proof as vodka, it should in theory taste exactly the same if those impurities were not present.


The problem with doing this at home is that it is very difficult to get decent quality high proof grain alcohol at retail -- most of it is swill. 


What is the difference between low and high quality high proof grain alcohol? Is it really just a matter of filtering as with cheap vodka?

only one way to find out...


I have plenty of everclear, now I just need to find a brita filter. I don't suppose anyone wants to volunteer to judge the results...:wacko:

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Sam,

In the vodka threads, (I think) there is a story about filtering cheap vodka three times with a brita filter and coming up with wonderful vodka.

Is there any possibility that this would work with Everclear?

Tim

#243 slkinsey

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 09:02 AM

Maybe. But I kind of doubt it.
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#244 eje

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:10 AM

Article on Limoncello in today's Chronicle.

A taste as sweet as a World Cup title

I found this quote interesting:

Bay Area restaurateur Pat Kuleto says one of the first things he noticed about the Amalfi region is how the lemons are grown -- on terraces in the steep hillsides, shaded from the sun.

"They let the lemons hang for two seasons," Kuleto says. "If you don't pick them, they go back to green and then grow again. They get these big gnarly lemons, with a lot of skin."


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

#245 Abra

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 11:16 AM

Wow, lemons that go green and start to grow again? That sounds pretty sci-fi.

Just for a color check, here my limoncello in progress. I used Meyer lemons and 100 proof vodka, and let the microplaned zest steep for 2 months, waiting for the zest to lose all of its color. It never did turn all the way white, so today I diluted it with 80 proof and simple syrup. The color is more or less like a giant urine specimen.

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It's shown here with the vin de noix and nocino I was also putting up today.

#246 Chef Metcalf

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 11:19 AM

Will you be taking that with you on any vacations Abra? :biggrin:

#247 KatieLoeb

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 08:42 PM

Abra:

Your limoncello looks perfect! And the Nocino looks pretty tasty too. You must let us know if it passes the taste test though.

I usually pour mine into tall thin bottles (former shnapps or fancy vinegar receptacles usually) and keep it in the freezer so it gets really cold and viscous. A wee glass after dinner makes for a wonderful digestif.

A nice pour of limoncello went in with my pink lemonade in the cooler I brought with me to the outdoor (in the humid July Philly heat) Bonnie Raitt concert I attended this evening. Most refreshing! :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
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#248 Abra

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 09:24 PM

Why yes, Chef M, I imagine that the limoncello would travel well. The vin de noix won't be ready when I'm up your way, alas.

Limoncello and Bonnie Raitt sound like a dynamite combination, Katie. I'll get some into the freezer as soon as it has a chance to mellow with the syrup for a bit. I have no idea what nocino is supposed to taste like, so I'm really looking forward to that too.

#249 tim

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 06:53 AM

Article on Limoncello in today's Chronicle.

A taste as sweet as a World Cup title

I found this quote interesting:

Bay Area restaurateur Pat Kuleto says one of the first things he noticed about the Amalfi region is how the lemons are grown -- on terraces in the steep hillsides, shaded from the sun.

"They let the lemons hang for two seasons," Kuleto says. "If you don't pick them, they go back to green and then grow again. They get these big gnarly lemons, with a lot of skin."

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Hi,

I make orangecello every year, usually with a two week infusion in 100 proof vodka.

A few years ago, I tried a two month infusion with microplaned peels (no pith) from very fresh florida navels. That batch had a bitter background.

Does anyone know what went wrong with this orangcello?

Tim

#250 Heidi the Pilgrim

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 07:16 PM

If I could figure out how to attach a photo, I'd add one of the last batch I made with the mostly green lemons - it still didn't come out as 'green' as I'd hoped, but I was lucky enough to find green swing top bottles at a kitchen store so it at least makes it look less like a urine sample. I guess unless we get those miracle italian lemons that go back to being green, we'll have to live with the yellow ones.


Edited by Heidi the Pilgrim, 21 July 2006 - 06:00 PM.


#251 annecros

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 08:11 AM

I'm presently infusing a batch on my counter. It is a lemon/lime/orange combo, heavy on the lime. The intent is to make Margaritas with what cello does not get disposed of straight up!

My question is, has anyone tried to cook with the drunken zest after decanting? I wonder how it would do folded into sour cream pound cake batter, then a "cello" based glaze on the pound cake maybe?

I was also wondering if the limes and oranges also loose all color as the lemons do. The liquor is absolutely a dark chartreuse right now, and I only started the infusion Sunday. The lemon zest looks white, but it is hard to tell with the darker liquid. I can definitely pick out the orange.

I went the microplane into Everclear route for the infusion, and will go 80 proof for the additional booze.

Anne

#252 donbert

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 08:51 AM

My question is, has anyone tried to cook with the drunken zest after decanting? I wonder how it would do folded into sour cream pound cake batter, then a "cello" based glaze on the pound cake maybe?


I haven't had a chance to make any limoncello yet but the zest that's been soaking in grain alcohol for making bitters don't look appetizing at all. On the other hand though if you use zest to infuse simple syrup you can boil it in some of the syrup with more sugar to make candied zest. They're great for using in pastries or garnishing a granita.

#253 rodparsons

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 05:28 AM

Hi,
I recently had some Limoncello at an Italian Restaurant here in Australia.
Nice bit a bit of a kick to it. Which I liked but the girls didn't.
The owner makes his own I was told. He distilled 3 Kg of lemons, adds sugar and grappa (Which it suppose to be in Italy).
So since we have a tree in the back yard that has lemons the size of large grapefruits. I have derided to make some from Katie’s world renound recipe.
A trick I am told was to put the zest in a blender and washing it out of the blender into the storage jar with 100 Proof Smirnoff Vodka.
After one day the lemon taste is very strong in the vodka.
I'll let you know how it goes after a week and then the next batch for a couple of weeks.
I have numerous Italian friends waiting to tatse the first batch.
A Russian guy at work said to distille the lemons and make the vodka too.
I might try that later.
An Italian lady is bringing in a recipe for me. I’ll post it when I get it.

Cheers
Rodney

#254 Abra

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 09:08 AM

I've got to report that my Meyer limoncello is "not very lemony." That's a quote from Chef Metcalf, who was my beta tester, and I must say that I agree with her. It's smooth, drinkable, slighly intriguing, but not very lemony and not interesting enough to be proud of. I need to infuse something else into it if I'm going to be able to serve it in about 10 days, which has been my plan. I'm thinking ginger, lemongrass, star anise...any suggestions?

#255 eje

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 10:19 AM

I've got to report that my Meyer limoncello is "not very lemony."  That's a quote from Chef Metcalf, who was my beta tester, and I must say that I agree with her.  It's smooth, drinkable, slighly intriguing, but not very lemony and not interesting enough to be proud of.  I need to infuse something else into it if I'm going to be able to serve it in about 10 days, which has been my plan.  I'm thinking ginger, lemongrass, star anise...any suggestions?

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Unfortunate.

Could you use it in a cocktail instead of straight up? Perhaps in combination with a flavored simple syrup and lemon juice? Maybe a Lavender, Thyme or Tarragon infused syrup?

I don't really like Meyer Lemons until they have hung on the tree for a good long time and their orange/tangerine heritage starts to shine through. When they are young, their funky thyme-like flavor turns me off.
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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#256 Abra

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 11:19 AM

These lemons were very ripe and perfumey, so I think the problem is that their flavor was too mild, as opposed to too funky. Lavender sounds like a nice combination, and I have tons in my garden. Hmmm, a lavender limoncello cocktail.

I'm not very experienced with cocktails. The limoncello is sweetened, but lightly. Any suggestions for dilution with a lavender infusion that would neither up the alcohol (which is shockingly high already) nor the sweetness by too much? Maybe a lavender simple syrup and a sparkling wine, like a cava?

#257 eje

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 06:52 PM

There's an excellent limoncello and prosecco based aperitif cocktail from the Babbo cookbook called the Amarina. It uses sugar, Angostura bitters, limoncello and prosecco.

I'll PM you with the exact recipe.

I do like the idea of a lavender and Meyer Limoncello cocktail. If you use a lavender infused simple syrup the trick would be balancing the two sweet elements with enough sour to keep it interesting and still not overwhelm the palate. It might be easier with an unsweetened limoncello or lemon infused vodka.
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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#258 zoe b

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 01:16 PM

the Hub had to make dessert the other night--it was hot and watermelon was as elaborate as I was willing to get--had the B & SIL over so no need to impress!

But he put together a great dessert--he marinated strawberries in limoncello--added some sugar at my suggestion as our limoncello is powerful--made with grain alcohol.

served with cake (Entemann's Louisiana Crunch which is very good--I would eat it again) and vanilla ice cream, it was pretty delish.

And a nice side effest is that even though the strawberries are eaten, the limoncello left over turned a pretty rose color and tastes deliciously of strawberries--is good as is on ice cream.

#259 KatieLoeb

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 04:12 PM

There's a small gelateria here in Philadelphia that makes a Strawberry-Limoncello flavored sorbetto they call Francacella. Sounds delicious to me since Strawberry Lemonade is one of my favorite summer beverages.

Strawberry-Lemon is a great flavor combo, as is Raspberry-Lemon and Blueberry-Lemon.

I've been making a yummy cocktail with the new Stolichnaya Blueberry vodka. Here's the recipe:

2 oz. Stoli Blueberry
1 oz. Limoncello
a splash of fresh lemon juice
Fill with Sprite or 7-Up.

You can also turn it a pale sky blue with about 2 drops of Blue Curacao and not change the flavor.

Don't have a good name for it yet. It tastes like a lemon-blueberry muffin! :wub:

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


#260 zoe b

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 06:56 AM

I've been making a yummy cocktail with the new Stolichnaya Blueberry vodka.


that sounds delish--I wish I had one right now!

Blue Moon? I'm horrible at naming things

#261 Abra

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 08:39 PM

Mmm, those are some good-sounding ideas. What I did this time was to make a bay leaf-infused syrup and add it to half of the limoncello, then a lavender-infused syrup for the other half. Now they're resting for a week, and then we'll see. I'm planning to take eje's advice and mix them into Prosecco cocktails, if they taste decent.

#262 KatieLoeb

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 09:17 PM

Abra:

Please report back regardless of the results. I'm certain they'll both be delicious, but at worst, you might save one of the rest of us from the tragic experiment.:smile:

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

Cheers!
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Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#263 CookinBenny

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 01:05 AM

I thought the ginger idea sounded good, and add that to the lemoncello except i would candy the ginger first, and then maybe to smooth it out some coconut milk? Just a thought.

Edited by CookinBenny, 06 August 2006 - 01:06 AM.


#264 jess mebane

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 09:12 AM

A cocktail waitress at a chi-chi joint in Houston recommended a dole-tini, which was very good pinapple-infused vodka; we're trying it now at home. Anyone else ever go Hawaiian?

#265 KatieLoeb

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 09:33 AM

A cocktail waitress at a chi-chi joint in Houston recommended a dole-tini, which was very good pinapple-infused vodka; we're trying it now at home.  Anyone else ever go Hawaiian?

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A lot of places do this, most famously I think is Capital Grill who calls it a Stoli-doli martini, since they (claim) to make their pineapple infused vodka with Stolichnaya. It's quite tasty.

I prefer pineapple infused cachaca myself, but the vodka is pretty good and it's very easy to make.

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

Cheers!
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Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#266 Heidi the Pilgrim

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 11:35 AM

Finally - the finished limoncello from the last batch, bottled up for holiday treats. This was filtered with a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth - I tried it with coffee filters but it just plain didn't work. Does everyone else's look cloudy like this when they make it? IIRC I did let the sugar syrup cool before I added it. I don't mind the way it looks, I'm used to seeing it in frosted bottles.

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#267 rosebud

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 05:55 PM

I haven't read through the entire thread, but I make Limoncello and give it away as Christmas presents. I use Everclear and dilute 3:1 according to a recipe that appeared in the Washington Post several years ago.

I won't get into the vodka vs. Everclear debate. I want to talk about lemons, instead.

At my local Safeway very large, beautiful lemons are available for 59 cents apiece. Fortunately, I have access to lemons (and limes) at a couple of ethnic stores in my neighborhood for either 3 for $1 or 4 for $1. Guess which ones are full of dye (which is almost immediately evident once you steep the peel in the alcohol)? Yup, the expensive ones from the Safeway.

To get rid of any wax which might be present, I simply drop the lemons in boiling water for about 10 seconds or so. Gets rid of the wax, and whatever other nasty stuff is on there without changing the essential part of the lemon.

#268 KatieLoeb

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 06:01 PM

Heidi, your limoncello looks positively gorgeous! :wub:

Great job. I hope your friends that are fortunate enough to be on your gifting list are appreciative. Perhaps you could add a tag tied on with a ribbon that has a few serving suggestions or cocktail recipes on it? There are some delicious limoncello cocktail recipes HERE.

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


#269 Heidi the Pilgrim

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:25 AM

Heidi, your limoncello looks positively gorgeous!  :wub:

Great job.  I hope your friends that are fortunate enough to be on your gifting list are appreciative.  Perhaps you could add a tag tied on with a ribbon that has a few serving suggestions or cocktail recipes on it?  There are some delicious limoncello cocktail recipes HERE.

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Thank you Katie - I'm most happy about the bottles, I found them at a store called Kitchen & Company. Of course, my happiness was dashed when I tried to mail some and found that it was illegal to do so, in just about any way, so only my 'in person' friends will be enjoying it. I did make a swell little card, found a nice botanical drawing of lemons that I printed on business cards, and put a label on the back saying 'store in the freezer and enjoy very cold!' The recipes are a great idea though. I happen to like mine straight *hic*... :wink:

#270 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 08:01 AM

Lovely limoncello, Heidi. And a lovely presentation!





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