Semplice, delizioso and the perfetto after-dinner digestivo!!!

Everyone colto and sofisticato knows they have found themselves at the dinner party of all holiday dinner parties when a bottle of homemade Limoncello is brought out once the dishes are cleared. Limoncello won’t burn the stomach and isn’t sickly sweet.

This delicacy is the second most popular drink on the Almalfi Coast second only to Campari. According to Walks of Italy no one knows specifically where Limoncello originated just that this distinct drink was clearly sent from the heavens. So, it makes sense to think its origins are in a convent or monastery.

Drinking digestives after a meal can be traced back to the ancient Romans. Hippocrates, a Greek physician of the age of Pericles, indulged after meals as a way to assist his digestion. (Again that information from Walks of Italy).

On the Lake Erie Islands, resort owner, developer, and former City of Euclid Council President Ed Gudenas realized he had an entire case of lemons left over from a sensational summer season. A few moments of researching made us realize these leftover lemons were going to realize a holiday spectacular of spirits typically forgotten.

The reason it is so important to make this now: time is of the essence. The peels need time to steep to release the oils. The more time, the more potent your potion.

Here is what you need. We used the recipe from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis from her Everyday Italian show Summers in Capri episode and adapted the infusion time.

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Removing the rinds and pith from the lemons is time indulgent. Some suggest using a vegetable peeler. After two batches I determined the easiest way to approach this task is to cut the lemon in half, remove the seeds and squeeze all of the juice out into a container to later use for lemon water.

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Then, pull the majority of the pith out with your fingers. Lay the rind flat on top of a cutting board. With a small vegetable knife begin whittling away the remaining pith.

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Aim for extracting as many of the little white bubbles as possible. Set aside in a dish.

img_05921Once ready with all ten lemons add them to the container and soak in a favorite vodka spirit.

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Once vodka is poured over the peels, cover with plastic wrap and push back into the corner where sunlight won’t reach the container.

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Infuse for at least four days. The majority of the infusion happens in these days and even this short timeframe will fructify a flavorful refreshment. More days make for a more bold blend. Take up to a month for the infusion.

When ready, create the simple syrup.

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Bring to a gentle low boil while stirring the water and sugar together continuously to dissolve. Once sugar granules can not be seen turn off the heat and move to a cooling place. Let cool completely and once the sugary swig is back to room temperature incorporate into the infused vodka. Let stand overnight.

The next day, grab your bottles and begin to fill with gioia.

I placed a mesh sifter over a glass pitcher and poured the vodka and simple syrup into this container. The spout on the glass pitcher made transfer of the Limoncello into the bottles an ease. Seal and refrigerate.

I purchased multiple sizes from local craft and outlet stores. The tags and ninety-nine cent ribbon is available at Hobby Lobby. I picked out the eye-popping Red Quatrefoil Grosgrain and Red Striped Satin Ribbons available in the scrapbook section to make memorable tags.

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Recipients will be exultant they are not being presented with another paper plate of cookies. These bottles are ideal to gift to your ring of professional associates such as your realtor, banker, investment manager, bartenders, and public relations managers. Plus, aunts, uncles and cousins will enjoy the effort.

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Having a bottle in your own home adds a nice touch of cheer you already have to offer guests. Serve in chilled cordial or shot glasses. Buone Feste my friends!

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Josie in an award-winning journalist and tenured lifestyle reporter. Her southeastern European roots are that of the Adriatic and Black Seas.

 

 


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