And A Life In Between

Taste of the Amalfi Coast – homemade Limoncello liqueur

Taste of the Amalfi Coast – homemade Limoncello liqueur

 

Amalfi Coast, Italy
Amalfi Coast, Italy

In a post from about a year go, titled “Memento“, I wrote a little story about one of my most treasured ornaments brought back from holiday.  It’s these two little ceramic glasses from Italy’s Amalfi Coast.  However, as much as the glasses are a memento in itself, the content thereof at the time also plays a big part in why I love them so much!  The restaurant we got the glasses from used them to serve icy cold shots of the local lemon liqueur, limoncello, at the end of dinner!

Limoncello is the official liqueur of Naples and the Amalfi Coast.  It is a bright yellow ‘digestivo‘ and has a wonderful lemony flavor without being overly sweet or bitter.  Before we left for holiday, we read that the story if you’ve made a suitable impression on your waiter, he will bring out a little limoncello for you at the end of your meal.  And apparently if he really likes you, he might even offer you more than one glass!  Now, I’m not saying that our waiter liked us, but the fact that we got at least two glasses each night we visited the establishment, plus the fact that on the last night he arranged with his boss to give us the glasses for free must count for something!

Capri, off the Amalfi Coast, Italy
Capri, off the Amalfi Coast, Italy

So back at home we were naturally longing for the beautiful taste of the Amalfi.  Here in South Africa limoncello is an imported product (I’ve seen one local variety  on the shelf and it really didn’t taste very good) and for a small bottle it can really get a bit pricey.  So we looked high and low for recipes that we could make ourselves and we’ve finally settled that the one from Mamma Agata is really the best one; it taste like the Amalfi Coast in a bottle.  The first time we made it was for my father-in-law’s birthday and it went down a treat.

A few weeks ago we finished the last bit of our batch, so it’s that time again!  (As I’m typing here, hubby has just opened the lid on the lemon peels that’s been steeping in the vodka for the week and the lemon fragrance is just amazing!)

Give it a shot (literally and figuratively) – you will love it!

Limoncello
Our homemade Limoncello

 

Limoncello 

(makes about 2 litres)

Ingredients:

zest of 7 large lemons

750ml vodka

5 cups water

2.5 cups white sugar

Method:

  1. Peel the zest from the lemons, being careful not to cut into the bitter white rind.
  2. Add the lemon zest to a bowl/jug that has a lid.
  3. Add the vodka to the lemon zest and close the lid.
  4. Leave it to stand in a cool place for 7 days.
  5. On day 7, add water and sugar to a pot and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Bring the mixture up to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Take the sugar syrup off the heat and pour into a jug to cool.  (We let ours stand for a bit just to cool down slightly, and then we place it in the fridge.)
  8. Once the syrup is cooled, strain the lemon peels from the vodka and discard the peels.
  9. Pour the vodka into the same jug as the syrup and stir well.
  10. Serve in small glasses, straight from the freezer.
    Lemon zest
    Zest lemons
    Lemon peel soaking in vodka
    Lemon peel soaking in vodka

    Lemon peel and sugar syrup
    Lemon peel and sugar syrup

NOTE:  The limoncello will keep for one to two years (not that it will last that long!).  Store it in bottles with a cap or cork in a cool, dark place.  When you want to drink it, chill the limoncello in little glasses in the freezer.  It has to be icy cold when you have it.

Homemade Limoncello

March 19, 2017
: Makes about 2 litres

By:

Ingredients
  • zest of 7 large lemons
  • 750ml vodka
  • 5 cups water
  • 2.5 cups white sugar
Directions
  • Step 1 Peel the zest from the lemons, being careful not to cut into the bitter white rind.
  • Step 2 Add the lemon zest to a bowl/jug that has a lid.
  • Step 3 Add the vodka to the lemon zest and close the lid.
  • Step 4 Leave it to stand in a cool place for 7 days.
  • Step 5 On day 7, add water and sugar to a pot and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Step 6 Bring the mixture up to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Step 7 Take the sugar syrup off the heat and pour into a jug to cool. (We let ours stand for a bit just to cool down slightly, and then we place it in the fridge.)
  • Step 8 Once the syrup is cooled, strain the lemon peels from the vodka and discard the peels.
  • Step 9 Pour the vodka into the same jug as the syrup and stir well.
  • Step 10 Serve in small glasses, straight from the freezer.

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