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Homemade Limoncello Part Two & All Through The Year Cheer is Moving!

Ok first up.  Faith and I have decided to start a separate website dedicated to our new event, All Through the Year Cheer.  It’s up and running so everyone go check it out 🙂 We hope that everyone will continue to participate in our event and please feel free to spread the word.  We will be giving away a lot of great prizes this year too.  Also on the site you will learn about our upcoming Thanksgiving event and the time line for your recipe submissions. Ok, without further adieu here is the new site: All Through the Year Cheer.

All Through The Year Cheer Fall

Now onto the limoncello. Back in August I started making limoncello and now it’s finally time to complete step two. I know it seems to take a long time to make this luscious lemon concoction but as the saying goes “good things come to those who wait.” So while yes, you will wait, you will be rewarded with a delicious liquor before Christmas.

In step one of limoncello making we combined the skins of 15 lemons and one full bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol and 80 proof vodka. After letting that sit for over 40 days the oil in the lemon skins has infused with the alcohol and made a very fragrant (not tasty…just yet) lemon alcohol. You know you are ready to move to step two when scoop out a peel and can snap it in half like a potato chip. If the peel is still flexible and can bend with out breaking put the lid back on the jar and try again in another week.

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Lemon peels sitting at the bottom of jar. Notice how yellow the liquor has become.

After you have decided it is time to move on to step two the first thing you will do is make a sugar syrup with 4 1/2 cups sugar and 3 cups distilled water or filtered water. Do not use mineral water. After is has boiled for 5 minutes let is sit and cool to room temperature.

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Pouring the sugar into the distilled water. Time to make a sugar syrup!

As the sugar syrup is cooling it is time to start taking the lemon peels out of the alcohol. Try to be as careful as possibly not to break the peels into a lot of small pieces. This will make it easier and less messy when you filter your liquor.

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Using a pasta server to extract the lemon peels.

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All the extracted peels.

After all or most of the peels have been successfully removed it is time to start filtering the limoncello. To do this you will need another clean glass gallon jar, a large funnel and #4 coffee filters.

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Second jar prepared to filter lemon infusion.

To strain slowly start pouring liquid from the first glass into the filtered funnel that is sitting on top of gallon glass jar two.  Do not fill to high because filters will clog quickly.  This process will take a little bit of time.  Fill funnel about half full, wait for it to be mostly empty and pour more liquid in.  When filters clog simply remove from funnel and replace with new filter.

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Filtering the limoncello.

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Slowly going through filter.

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Watching the liquor filter. It got old very quickly...haha.

Halfway through the filtering process I took pictures  show how much clearer the infusion became.

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Original infusion.

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Filtered infusion.

After the infusion is filtered into the second glass jar it is time to clean and wash the original jar.  After the jar has been cleaned you have to filter the infusion back into the original jar. The process is the same. Use a large funnel and a #4 coffee filters.

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Ready to filter the infusion back into the original glass.

After the infusion has been transferred back to the original glass it is time to incorporate the cooled sugar syrup.

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Pouring the sugar syrup into the lemon infusion.

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The sugar syrup has been fully added and just needs to be stirred. I love the bright yellow color!

After the sugar syrup has been added it is time to stir the infusion and tightly put on the lid.  Return to a cool dry place for another 40 days to start the mellowing out process that combines the alcohol infusion with the sugar syrup to create Limoncello.

Stirred limoncello. Hopefully it will taste great after 40 days!

Ok ladies and gentleman this is step two of the Limoncello process.  In 40 or so days I will share the final step. Bottling.  If you are interested in making your own limoncello please refer to my first post located here so you can get started correctly.  Although I will include the complete set of instructions for Part One and Part Two of Limoncello making. My first post was helpful because it gives great step by step (and pictures!) of the process.


Step One: (You can find the step by step write up here.)

Ingredients and tools for step one:

1 750ml. bottle of vodka 80 proof

1 750ml. bottle of grain alcohol 190 proof

15 large thick skinned bright yellow lemons

A very clean dry gallon glass jar with tight fitting lid

Day 1:
Pour the bottle of Everclear and the bottle of vodka into the gallon jar.

Try to use organic lemons or make sure that lemons are cleaned to remove all pesticides, dirt, and fertilizer chemicals. Dry the lemons.

Use a potato peeler to peel just the yellow part of the skin off the lemons. Make sure you have NO white pith on the back of the peels, because this causes bitterness in the finished liqueur. Try to make the peel pieces as large as possible, because this will make the straining process easier.

Put the lemon peels in the gallon jar and stir gently.

Cover tightly and put away in a cool (not cold) dark place for alcohol to extract oils from peels, creating an infusion.

Days 8, 22, & 36:
Gently stir lemon peels to refresh exposure to alcohol. Return to cool, dark place.

Day 43:
Gently stir lemon peels.

Scoop out one of the larger peels and test flexibility. If peel breaks like a potato chip, you will move on to the next step. If peel is still flexible enough to bend without breaking, return to cool dark place and try again in another week.

Step Two:

Ingredients and tools for step two:

A very clean and dry gallon glass jar or pitcher

Large supply of unbleached #4 cone coffee filter (I could only find white cone coffee filters, not sure if they were bleached or not)

Large funnel

Slotted spoon or pasta server

4 1/2 C. white sugar

3 C. Distilled or filtered water (I used distilled)

Day One:

Dissolve sugar in water and bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes.

Set syrup aside to cool. It must be room temp before adding to infusion.

Use a slotted spoon or pasta server gently scoop lemon peels from the infusion and discard. Try to avoid creating small pieces that will make straining more difficult, try not to break peels as you remove them.

Using the larger funnel and #4 coffee filters, slowly strain infusion through filters into large pitcher. This is a messy process. The filters will clog quickly and you will use many of them.

Rinse and dry gallon jar.

Repeat straining process, transferring infusion from pitcher to original gallon jar by straining again through #4 coffee filters.

Return filtered infusion to jar and add COOLED syrup.

Return to cool dry place for 40 days to begin mellowing process that combines alcohol infusion with syrup to create Limoncello.

Source:Slow Travel Italy

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23 responses »

  1. Pingback: Homemade Limoncello « Nutmeg Nanny

  2. I had a glass of this when I went to France and it was delicious! I’d love to try making it sometime.

  3. Looks good and evil all at the same time. Limoncello makes me think of the southern coast of Italy — thanks for the memory!

  4. So cool that you decided to make your own. Let us know how it comes out.

  5. Oooh, it’s such a pretty color! It looks like a long process, but definitely worth it. And I love your cute gallon jugs with the little handle on the top at the neck…they remind me of the jugs that my grandpa used to keep his port wine in…except he always used green glass jugs for some reason.

    • Thanks! The color really is pretty. It’s so cool that your grandfather used to make port wine. I got the bottles from my Dad…no idea where he got them.

  6. you are inspiring me to make this delicious concoction – yours looks like its coming along nicely

  7. It’s turning out so good! I’m so impressed! It will be ready just in time to spread the holiday cheer. Excellent job.

  8. Homemade limocello sounds wonderful! ON my way to check out the new site!

  9. I have been wanting to make this forever!! I am so jealous…it looks awesome…it’s calling me, LOL!! 😀

  10. Holy cow, I’m worn out just reading that! 🙂

  11. I could never do that.

    I’m still drooling over your pie. Don’t tell my sister, but she made coconut cream pie over the weekend and I would have much preferred yours.

  12. This looks amazing! I love limoncello and just yesterday had an amazing limoncello bread pudding at Carabba’s….maybe an idea for left over finished product?? I would love to see you create that, you are so talented!

  13. Oh my!!! Thanks for posting this! I enjoyed reading the step by step procedure. Thanks a lot!

  14. Oh how lovely. This will be great to make for the holidays. Well done.

  15. What a fab idea – I can’t wait to see the end result!

  16. This reminds me of our trip to Italy where it seems every little shop was making/selling their own limoncello. Good luck!

  17. Pingback: Cranberry Nut Bread « Nutmeg Nanny

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