Tag Archives: lemons

Limoncello – Part 3

Limoncello So it’s been about two months since my last addition of extra lemon zest to the limoncello. The extra zest and additional two months made a big difference in the lemony intensity. Tasting it straight it’s still really strong, like a strong lemon extract, but the sharper edges from the Everclear have started to round out a bit.

So it looked like it was time to strain the zest out. I am still really amazed at how clear this batch turned out. The two previous attempts I’ve made at limoncello resulted in a really cloudy solution that I never did get properly strained. That is definitely not an issue with this batch. In fact, I had a tough time getting a photo of the jar that showed the deep lemon-yellow color the liquid had become. It was so transparent that it took a lot of fiddling with the lighting angle to get it to hit it just right for the camera to pick it up.

I didn’t have a kitchen funnel large enough to handle a batch this size, so I decided to use my new Chemex coffee maker. The 6 cup coffee maker turned out to be the perfect size. The Chemex filters are slightly thicker than a normal coffee filter so I figured that would help as well to keep any fine particulates from getting into jar.

Filtering limoncello

After filtering that left me with just over 5 cups of liquid. The next step was to dilute and sweeten it. I made a batch of simple syrup by just taking equal parts of white sugar and water, bringing to a boil for two minutes, and then cooling. How much to add is sort of a matter of taste. I had added a bit of 80 proof vodka to the original batch because the bottle of Everclear wasn’t quite enough to fill the jug. So that brought the alcohol content down slightly. I ended up adding just under 3 cups of simple syrup solution to bring it up to about 8 cups total. I opted to keep it a little less sweet than I might want it in the end, figuring I could add a little more after it’s had a couple of months to mellow in the bottle. I’m guessing the 3 cups of simple syrup might have brought the limoncello down to around 100 proof – still pretty strong, but definitely more palatable than the straight lemony Everclear.

Filtered limoncello

Limoncello with simple syrup

Bottled limoncello I had been wondering what would happen when I added the simple syrup. The liquid before adding it in was so clear I was worried it wouldn’t get that bright yellow color that limoncello should have. Obviously there was nothing to worry about. It brightened up as soon as the syrup hit it.

I had enough to fill two 750ml bottles with a bit left over. As an experiment, I took the left over amount and added it to another jar with a vanilla bean. I’m not sure where that idea came from, but a vanilla limoncello sounded intriguing.  I’ll leave the bottles alone for a couple months and give it a taste taste then. From my previous batches it seems they continue mellowing for at least 6 months, so I’ll try to keep track of how these change.

In the mean time, it might be time to start another batch.

Bottled limoncello

Limoncello – Part 2

Limoncello Part 2I had kind of forgotten about the limoncello over the last couple of weeks. I’m bad about remembering to write things down and put labels on projects with dates, so I couldn’t recall exactly how long it had been since I started the batch. The good thing about starting the blog for these types of projects is I just had to look at the date from the previous post. It turns out it had been exactly four weeks, which was a good time to check in on its progress.

At this point it sort of tastes like lemony fire. The Everclear has definitely extracted a lot of lemon flavor, but it’s extremely harsh. I am surprised, though, at how clear it is right now. I know the last time I made a batch of limoncello it was almost impossible to get it clear, even after straining many times. I’m not sure if it’s more clear this time due to the Everclear, or maybe grating the lemons with the microplane kept the lemon pith out which contributed to the murkiness the last time around.

Considering that it will have to be diluted quite a bit to make it palatable, at the moment I don’t think it has quite enough lemon flavor. So I decided to add some extra lemon zest. As strong as the Everclear is, I don’t think there’s much danger of it being too lemony.  I zested 8 more large organic lemons to add to the mix. That gave me a pile of zest that weighed right at 20 grams. So it’s up to about 60 grams of zest total right now.

Limoncello Part 2

I added this zest in and gave it a good shake and put it back in the cabinet. I’ll check in on it again in another month or so and see how it’s doing.

 

Limoncello – Part 1

Limoncello Ingredients

I’m adding a Works in Progress page to the blog. I have quite a few things on my list to try that take weeks, if not months, to make. So rather than waiting until they’re completely finished, I thought I’d make updates along the way to track their progress.

I made limoncello a few years ago with vodka as the alcohol base and enjoyed it, although the end product turned out a bit more cloudy than I wanted it. The goal this time is to try a few different filtration techniques and see what works best. Also, I want to see if it’s possible to extract more flavor from the fruit zest by using a stronger alcohol. It doesn’t really get any stronger than Everclear. Continue reading