So, a very good friend has an abundance of Myer lemons at his home. He offers to bring a bag for me, I accept. Immediately thinking that I will make Limoncello for the first time. Limoncello is a strong lemon liquor that hails from the Amalfi coast in Italy. The lemons that grow in that region are said to be so sweet that you can eat them like an orange. Unfortunately, we do not have these lemons in America. But we do have Myer lemons. I wouldn’t exactly eat a Myer lemon like I would an orange but they do taste sweeter and have a softer more aromatic flavor, perfect for Limoncello or any other lemon dish. This home-made version uses 100 proof vodka, a whole bottle of it. You can use 100 proof Everclear, but that sounds stronger to me for some reason.
To begin, wash the 10 to 12 lemons really really well, because I am only using the peels for this. If you buy the lemons and aren’t getting them from a tree itself, buy ORGANIC. In a bowl, peel 10-12 Myer lemons, with a hand peeler, being careful to peel just the yellow part of the lemon peels as much as you can. You will need a 1 gallon Mason jar that has been cleaned thoroughly with hot water and dried. Using one full 750ml bottle of 100 proof vodka, (Smirnoff was the only brand that I could find), you will empty the entire bottle into the jar and all of the yellow lemon peels. Close the mason jar tightly, and place in a cool dark place for between 30-45 days. You can check up on it once in a while and slosh it around. After a few weeks the liquid inside begins to get a bright yellow tint.
After the time period and or your patience has elapsed, you will now need to make the simple syrup. In a medium sauce pan, heat two cups of filtered water and two cups of fine bakers sugar (white). Bring the water sugar mixture to a low boil for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until all crystals have dissolved. Then, let the syrup cool completely to room temperature.
Take your vodka/lemon peel mixture and a larger mixing bowl and two strainers. I use two, a larger one an a medium sized fine mesh strainer. You can also use large coffee filters. You will now strain the liquid and peel mixture completely into the larger mixing bowl. Let the peels sit over the bowl in the strainers to fully drain, or smash down all the liquid out with a spoon. Now, add the completely cooled simple syrup to the lemon/vodka liquid in the large mixing bowl. Stir.
With a seal-able bottle, 750 ml or a couple smaller ones, and a funnel, pour the liquid and seal or cork the bottles. You can refrigerate or place in the freezer. Enjoy! Should hold for up to a year at least, that’s if it last that long in your house.
Enjoy straight in small glasses, on the rocks, with a splash of club soda or in a mixed cocktail.
10-12 Myer Lemons
2 Cups fine bakers sugar
2 cups filtered water
1 750 ml. Bottle of Vodka or Everclear
1 Gallon Mason Jar (Sterilized)
2 Mixing Bowls, large
1 Medium Sauce Pot
1 Vegetable Peeler
2 Large strainers fine and regular or Large Coffee filters
Seal-able glass bottles, your preference.