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Repeal Day Limoncello!

Wed Dec 3, 2008


Celebrate Repeal Day with Homemade Limoncello!

If Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, Repeal Day, which wine-lovers and cocktail hounds alike will be celebrating this Friday, runs a close second. Repeal Day marks the passage of the 21st Amendment to our constitution, effectively overturning the 18th, which banned the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol in the U.S. for 13 long, dry years. But while everyone is running around Friday, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition by getting appropriately schnockered, I thought I’d pay tribute the creative spirit—the speakeasies, the wine bottles market “for medicinal purposes” and, of course, the moonshine—that helped Americans survive the Noble Experiment by offering up a recipe for some homemade hooch.

Okay, limoncello isn’t exactly bathtub gin, and it isn’t likely to make you hiccup like Ms. Hannigan, but this beautiful digestivo is easy to make, wonderfully delicious and a great DIY holiday gift. Commonly served as an after-dinner drink on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, this liqueur makes use of the picture-perfect lemons of Sorrento, known for their intoxicating perfume. So whip up a batch, imagine yourself sitting on the deck of some Italian villa overlooking the cerulean Gulf of Naples and sipping on a glass after eating a fresh, mouthwatering pizza.

Courtesy of Eric Alperin of Cole’s French Dip, Los Angeles

1 liter of 100 proof vodka
13 large, fresh lemons (preferably organic—they should be clean of pesticides and added wax on the surface)
25 ounces table sugar (sucrose)
25 ounces boiling water

Peel or grate the zest from all 13 lemons.

Pour the zest in the liter of 100 proof vodka in a sealed container for up to three weeks. (You can agitate the contents every other day and try a week and a half, but three weeks is ideal.)

When your vodka is ready, make a simple syrup by completely dissolving 25 ounces of sugar in 25 ounces of boiling water. Cool the syrup to near room temperature and stir into the lemon vodka.

Refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain into bottles and store in the freezer. Serve ice cold in aperitif glasses.

For Ginger Limoncello: Substitute ginger simple for the plain simple syrup. To make the ginger simple, add 7 ounces of thinly sliced ginger and 5 teaspoons of whole black peppercorns to your simple syrup above and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Strain through a sieve, cool to near room temperature and finish as instructed above.

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9 Responses to “Repeal Day Limoncello!”

  1. kat Says:

    Ok, now I’ll have to go try that new sake brewery in town on Friday!

  2. Brooke Says:

    And WHY haven’t I been able to “test” this recipe with you? Jealous, Brooke

  3. Foodista.com Says:

    Great! We have also tried to make this at foodista! But your ginger seems very interesting! worth the try. Great post!

  4. Ben | Limoncelloquest.com Says:

    Wow, this is a super fast recipe. You could have a batch in 2 days doing it this way. I’ll definitely give that a try.

  5. gaga Says:

    Yay, another use for my ginormous lemon tree. Thanks!

  6. foodphotoblog.com Says:

    Limoncello is my secret Margarita ingredient. Ooops now everyone knows!

  7. Moby Dick Says:

    It’s been sitting on the counter for a week… Can I try it yet? 🙂

  8. Helenmarie Diamond Says:

    Leah, I love limoncello. Can’t wait to give it a try. I am having so much find exploring your website.

  9. Honey Drewnowsky Says:

    wondering where you got the glasses that you served the limoncello in? been looking for them everywhere…would appreciate some help in finding them…Thanks!

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