Make your friends and family happy this Christmas with homemade limoncello. Get the recipe below.
I wish I could say that my Christmas hampers are made, and the presents purchased and wrapped but that’s definitely not the case. Ideally I’d be snuggled up on the sofa, with a box of chocolate by my side and a Christmas film on the TV but there are still so many Christmas preparations to do.
My drink of choice on an evening like this is Limoncello. I love the sticky sweetness of the lemon liqueur with its sharp, zingy tang. Limoncello is incredibly easy to drink, and the high alcohol content of the liqueur will leave you with a warm fuzzy glow.
It’s also the only bit of Christmas prep I’ve already managed to complete!
Three simple steps…
For those who don’t know, Limoncello is a liqueur made by mixing over-proof (very strong) spirit, with the peel of lemons and a sugar syrup. By adding a sugar syrup you considerably cut down the alcohol content of the drink making it anywhere between 10% and 30% depending on the spirit you started with.
I use a 37.5% triple distilled vodka so expect mine is somewhere around the 18% mark meaning that it tastes fantastic served rather simply over ice.
You’ll need at least 10 days to make it from start to finish so you still have plenty of time if you want to make it before Christmas
Just follow the simple steps below.
- 10 lemons unwaxed
- 700 millilitres over-proof spirit i.e. vodka
- 700 millilitres hot water
- 600 grams granulated sugar
- You will also need a large airtight container that is able to hold up to 2 litres of liquid.
Peel each of the lemons, trying to avoid retaining any of the bitter pitch and transfer to a large airtight container.
Pour over the alcohol, seal the lid, and store in a cool dark place for a minimum of 3 days (but up to 10 days is best!)
Every couple of days give the container a shake to keep the lemon peel moving about the liquid. You will notice after roughly 3 days that the liquid turns from clear to yellow - by the tenth day it will be flourescent!
A day before you wish to bottle the Limoncello, fill a jug with 700ml of hot (but not boiling) water and add the sugar.
Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove the lemon peel from the alcohol and pour the sugar syrup into the airtight container.
Mix the syrup and the now yellow alcohol.
Replace the lid and leave the liquid in a cool dark place overnight so that the flavours completely infuse.
It will now be ready to bottle! Ensure you have enough bottles for at least 1.5 litres of liquid.
These should be sterilised either with sterilisation solution, or by washing with warm soapy water and leaving to dry in a warm oven.
Once bottled the Limoncello is best kept in the fridge, or even better the freezer!
If you have used an over-proof spirit the high alcohol level should keep the Limoncello from freezing.
Best served over ice or in cocktails.
Don't be put off with how long it take to make Limoncello. For the most part it's hidden away in a cupboard and you'll be wandering around the shops doing your Christmas shopping while it does all the hard work!
Bottle it for gifting
This recipe easily fills two 700ml bottles so make sure you have enough bottles to hand. I particularly love old quirky, textured bottles and it looks particularly festive when poured into a frosted bottle. The white haze reminds me of a light coating of snow or frost.
If you aren’t planning on keeping this all for yourselves, though I highly recommend it…Kilner (and I’m sure many other brands) sell 250ml and 500ml bottles so you could add a small bottle to a Christmas hamper like I’ve done. They also make great gifts for the host and hostess at New Years Eve!
Get the bottles here
Make Christmas come early for me and why not buy the bottles you need via the amazon links below. These are affiliate links so I will earn a small amount of commission which helps me keep posting recipes like these!
Limoncello Gin Fizz
If you don’t fancy drinking the Limoncello neat, why not try this tasty cocktail?