Yield: 1 liter
Prep: 40 mins
- 24 large lemons, washed
- 1 splash white vinegar
- 4 cups grain alcohol or vodka (about 80 proof)
- 4 cups simple syrup, or to taste
- To remove any wax from the lemon rinds, cover the lemons in a tub of water with the vinegar and let soak for 5 to 10 minutes; rinse well.
- In a sealable container, combine 61/3 cups water with the alcohol.
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the lemon zest in strips, leaving the white pith behind; add to the alcohol mixture (the strips should be fully submerged). Cover and let steep in a dark place until the strips of zest lose most of their color and the flavor is infused, about 1 month.
- Strain the liquid, discarding the lemon zest. Add the simple syrup. Transfer the limoncello to a container and store in the freezer. Serve chilled, straight up.
Tip Simple sweetener
- Making simple syrup is a cinch: In a saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil, then stir in the same amount of sugar; heat until completely dissolved. Remove and let cool. Refrigerate in a glass jar.
Tip Frozen Sgroppino
- This icy Italian drink is like a spiked citrus smoothie. In a large bowl, gently whisk together 16 oz. prosecco or dry sparkling wine, 4 oz. limoncello and 4 scoops slightly softened lemon sorbet until thick and slushy. Pour into rocks glasses and top with fresh mint or lemon zest. Makes 4.
Tip Limoncello Iced Tea
- Shake 2 oz. limoncello with 8 oz. iced tea. Pour over ice; serve with a lemon wedge. Makes 1.
Tip Amalfi Spritzer
- Combine 4 oz. chilled prosecco or sparkling wine, 11/2 oz. chilled limoncello and 1 oz. chilled grappa in a champagne flute. Makes 1.