Luscious Lemorancello

I am still up to my eyeballs in fresh citrus, so I found a new project from which I will be able to make some really fun desserts!

slicecake_w_lemons11Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant and seen Limoncello on the after dinner drink menu or seen some type of Limoncello Cake on the dessert menu?   Limoncello is a syrupy liqueur that is smooth and sweet with an intense lemon flavor.  It can be sipped on its own, mixed into sparkling water, or shaken into cocktails.

I had no idea that Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy.  Considering that both my family and my husband’s have Northern Italian roots, I was amazed to realize neither of us had ever tried this particular yummy treat!  I think that counts as some kind of neglect or child abuse 😉

The process to make homemade Limoncello (or in this case, since I am combining blood orange and Meyer lemon peels:  Lemorancello) is quite easy and much less expensive than buying a smaller bottle of the commercially bottled version.

Lisa’s Luscious Lemorancello

  • 1 – 750 ml Bottle Vodka (80 Proof is fine, but 100 Proof is even better)
  • 5 – Medium Sized Meyer Lemons
  • 5 – Medium Sized Oranges (I have Blood Oranges, So I am using those)
  1. Remove the peels from the lemons and oranges.  Put the fruit in a zip bag to freeze for later use.  I peel them whole and then use a spoon to scrape away the pith, but you can also use a vegetable peeler.  It’s important to leave as little of the bitter white pith as possible.
  2. Once you have peeled the fruit and removed the pith from the skins, slice the peels into narrow strips and put the peel into a 32 oz container with a lid then pour the vodka over the peels.  I prefer glass so that any dormant odors don’t transfer from plastic into the vodka.
  3. Seal the container tightly and put aside in a cabinet – or at least on a counter out of direct sunlight.
  4. Infuse your blood orange & lemon peels in the vodka for at least 1 week to a month or longer. Most of the fruit flavor is extracted in the first few days, the longer you let it sit the bolder the flavor will be.  I’m going to let mine sit undisturbed for 6 weeks.

You don’t need to worry about mold or bacteria growing while it is infusing.  The alcohol prevents any mold or other bacteria from growing on the fruit.

When you decide that you just can’t wait to enjoy your treat any longer, it’s time to strain out the fruit peels and combine the infused vodka with simple syrup.

TIP:  You can use any amount 1 C Water to 1 C Sugar up to 4 Cups Water to 4 Cups Sugar.  More water will dilute the alcohol percentage and make the liqueur milder.

  1. Make your simple syrup:  In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar (I use superfine baker’s sugar) with 1 cup water and stir over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Add this to the infused vodka, taste, and add more simple syrup if you need it sweeter.

When you have reached your perfect ratio and your Lemorancello is ready to enjoy, you can store it in a cleaned 750 ml vodka bottle (there will be more than 1 bottle worth of liqueur) or in pretty oil/vinegar type bottles with hinged or screw sealed tops.

The liqueur can be kept in the freezer for at least a year, and likely much longer. Use your own common sense if it’s been more than a year and it tastes off or you see any mold growing in the bottle.  Then it’s more than likely time to toss it and make a fresh batch!  I have no intention of letting mine last that long.

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