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Mulcahy

Making Limoncello

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Assuming one doesn't make their own, are any available brands worth purchasing?

I see Toschi, Luxardo and Caravello most often.

Thanks,

rien

Villa Masa is pretty good commercially available limoncello, albeit a tad too sweet for my personal taste, but I'm still fonder of the homemade because I can tweak it just the way I like it.

I've had the Caravello Orangecello and that's quite tasty.

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I am ashamed to admit that after making a lovely batch of L'cello at the front of the summer, I then zested and socked away another starter batch in the bottom of a winter coat closet, and promptly forgot it. Upon discovering the lost jar last night while socking away birthday presents, I am further ashamed to admit I made a killer cosmo: 2 pts. Lemony zested vodka, 1 pt cointreau, cranberry juice then shaky-shaky with the ice, baby, and voila! I'm thinking of calling it, "ADHD with a twist".

So, always make your own limoncello, as Katie suggests, but tie a string around something so's you don't forget it.


Edited by jess mebane (log)

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apologies if this has already been asked and answered:

how long does limoncello keep?

i ask because i just discovered that a bottle brought back from positano 5 years ago has been travelling unopened from home to home and state to state, hiding in the back of boxes and the bar. it smells good but then so did my last crockpot disaster.

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apologies if this has already been asked and answered:

how long does limoncello keep?

i ask because i just discovered that a bottle brought back from positano 5 years ago has been travelling unopened from home to home and state to state, hiding in the back of boxes and the bar. it smells good but then so did my last crockpot disaster.

Mongo:

If it's unopened it should keep almost indefinitely, unless it's been exposed to some pretty horrible treatment (i.e. been in the trunk of the car through two summers).

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I want to make a couple of comments. I do not drink alcohol but I have many friends that do and I make many of my own flavorings.

If you are in a state where Everclear is legal, try using it. It is straight grain alcohol and extracts much more flavor from whatever you put in it than 100 proof vodka. It is available online but they do not ship to certain states, including California.

The other thing is, even with the microplaners, it takes a fair amount of time to grate a lot of zest. I make a lot of citrus syrup with zest and keep it in the fridge with the zest still in for up to 6 weeks, then strain the zest out and the syrup can then be heated and canned in jars and stored at room temperature.

during that 6 weeks, the zest can be dipped out of the syrup and used in pastry, (scones especially) in dressings, chutneys, and so on.

I need cups full of the stuff and there is no way I am going to spend all that time with a microplane. I do 4 or 5 pounds of lemons or oranges at a time, scrub them well with a nail brush which I keep just for this use. Then dry them with a towel.

Using a vegetable peeler (and the serrated one is perfect for taking off just enough) I peel off the colored part of the rind, let them sit for half an hour or so, so it drys just a bit, then I put several pieces into one of my spice grinders and turn it on, shaking to make sure it is all finely shredded, then dump that out and do another batch. I use one of the brushes especially made for cleaning the grinders, available at most coffee specialty stores, to sweep out the zest.

If you have only one grinder and need to use it for various things this is the best way to clean it between batches of strongly flavored things.

Put two heaping tablespoons of baking soda and 4 saltines, broken, into the grinder and turn it on and run it for 15 seconds, shaking and turning it upside down while it is running (hold the top on).

This will remove oils, caked on coffee, cinnamon, cloves, and etc. Occasionally you might have to reapeat it a second time if it is really gunky but usually one pass is all you need. Wipe it out with a paper towel and it is ready to use on something else. It also polishes the bowl and the blade.

I have a Krups that is 10 years old and still looks new and it has been used on everything.

Whenever I see them on sale for some ridiculous low price (like the KitchenAid I got for $8.00) I buy it and stick it away because eventually I know I will find a use for it, drop one and break the body, or leave one at a place where I have gone to cook, etc.

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Mulcahy   
mongo_jones Posted: Jul 30 2004, 01:52 PM 

i just discovered that a bottle brought back from positano 5 years ago has been travelling unopened from home to home and state to state, hiding in the back of boxes and the bar. it smells good but then so did my last crockpot disaster.[

Can I come be one of the guinea pigs? :wink:

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beans   
I tried the Caravello limoncello, and thought that there was too strong a taste of grain alcohol. I have had better, but homemade. Have not tried other brands - I decided it is cheaper (though slower) to make your own!

I agree. That seems to be one of the few limoncellos for sale in ultra conservative oHIo.

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JAZ   
I do 4 or 5 pounds of lemons or oranges at a time, scrub them well with a nail brush which I keep just for this use. Then dry them with a towel.

Using a vegetable peeler (and the serrated one is perfect for taking off just enough) I peel off the colored part of the rind, let them sit for half an hour or so, so it drys just a bit, then I put several pieces into one of my spice grinders and turn it on, shaking to make sure it is all finely shredded, then dump that out and do another batch

For infusing citrus into alcohol, though, there's no need to grate the peel. I just use the serrated peeler and add the strips of zest to the vodka. It's easier to strain that way, too. The only time I use a Microplane is for limes, which tend to be too tough for even the serrated peeler.

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If you are in a state where Everclear is legal, try using it. It is straight grain alcohol and extracts much more flavor from whatever you put in it than 100 proof vodka. It is available online but they do not ship to certain states, including California.

I've experimented with this approach as well, and although it does get more flavor out, the end result is much harsher to my taste. One batch I made in the past I started with just enough Everclear to cover the peels and then used regular (80 proof) vodka for the rest. That was pretty good, but I've found the 100 proof vodka to be the best compromise that yields the best tasting end product all around when diluted with the simple syrup, water and more 80 proof vodka to taste.

For infusing citrus into alcohol, though, there's no need to grate the peel. I just use the serrated peeler and add the strips of zest to the vodka.

This is true, and I've certainly made very good limoncello using the vegetable peeler. What the microplaner does is speed up the process because there's more surface area of peel exposed to the alcohol. When I've done the limoncello with strips of peel I had to soak them between four to six weeks. With the microplaner it only takes 10-14 days.

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bvus   

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

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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.

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merlin   

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.

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fatdeko   

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.

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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.

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JAZ   
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.

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Mulcahy   
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.

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Chloe   

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

And to you! As it should be. Congrats.

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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.

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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...

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