Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthday Limoncello

This past March I spent two weeks in Italy and in the process managed to fall in love with limoncello. For those who haven't experienced limoncello before, it's a delight! It's a sweet dessert liquor with the natural color and flavor of candied lemon zest. Having polished off the stock I was able to bring back with me from Italy, I felt inspired to make some of my own.

Actually I've been itching to try my hand at some form of home brewing since I took a course on mead making two summers ago. Limoncello seemed like a simple, enjoyable way to start. I found the most useful information about making limoncello from a wonderful site called Limoncello Quest. If you are looking for a good limoncello tutorial, start there. For now I will explain how my batch is coming along.

I started with:
1 Microplane zester (very much worth the $12 investment)
10 organic lemons (these have no wax on them, which makes for an easy prep)
1 large bottle of Smirnoff vodka (which I filtered twice using a Brita for a smooth taste)
1 half gallon growler (I used a glass one from a microbrewery that I love)

So far I am through steps 1-6 of the Limoncello Quest Process, just with a smaller batch. I am calling this my Birthday Limoncello because I wanted to make sure I allowed plenty of time for the mixture to sit before touching it. This means I can't add the simple syrup until my birthday in April and I can't even dream about tasting the final product until at least my dad's birthday in June.

I'm doing suprisingly well forgetting about the limoncello until it's ready. I'm hoping it turns out well. In an ideal world, my next brewing project will be a fruit wine or honey mead. The mead sounds so tempting and I know I could get my hands on some great organic honey this summer from Local Harvest.

I will add pictures of this project as it progresses.

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