How to Make Mellow Limoncello

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Mellow Limoncello

Mellow Limoncello

If you’re looking for a mellow limoncello and have some patience, I’ve got the recipe for you!  Limoncello ranges in taste between strongly lemony to sweet or even bitter.  My preference is for a well-balanced limoncello, not too strong or sweet, and definitely not even a hint of bitterness.  In other words, a mellow limoncello.

This recipe uses organic Meyer lemons and takes about three months to brew.  I know that sounds like a long time, but trust me, it’s worth the wait!

 

Supplies Needed

Phase 1 – lemon infused vodka

  • 750ml bottle of your favorite vodka or other clear spirit.  Our preference is Svedka.
  • 4 whole Meyer lemons (organic and clean)
  • cheesecloth (large piece)
  • tall glass container with air tight lid (sanitized)

Phase 2 – lemon infused simple syrup

  • 2 whole Meyer lemons (organic and clean)
  • 1 cup water (filtered)
  • 1 cup white sugar (other types of sugar can be used but they may make the limoncello cloudy)
  • vegetable peeler
Suspend Lemons

Suspend Lemons

Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup

After 3 months

After 3 months

 

Directions for making Mellow Limoncello

Phase 1 – lemon infused vodka

  1. Pour the vodka into the large glass container.
  2. Make a lemon hammock with the cheesecloth by placing the 4 lemons in the center of the cheesecloth.  Tie two corners on the diagonal together as close to the lemons as possible.  Then tie the other two corners on the diagonal.
  3. Suspend the lemons over the vodka, but do not allow the lemons to touch the vodka. Place the four ends of the cheesecloth over the lip of the jar and close the lid. (see photo)
  4. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 3 months.  Do not disturb the jar.  And don’t worry – the lemons won’t turn gross.  If they do, you have a problem and need to start over.
  5. After 3 months, discard the lemons.

Phase 2 – lemon infused simple syrup

  1. Carefully peel 2 fresh lemons with a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the pith (white part) as much as possible.
  2. In a small sauce pan, add water, sugar, lemon peels, and the juice of the two lemons to make simple syrup.
  3. Bring simple syrup to a boil for 5-7 minutes while stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Let simple syrup cool a bit and then strain into vodka.
  5. Chill and serve!

Sounds simple, right? Luckily, it is! I found that this suspension technique produces the the pure lemony essence that defines limoncello, without the bitterness inherent in other recipes that soak the peel in the vodka. I’ve also found that limoncello made by soaking the peels in vodka for a month generally has a heavier, bitter, and less vibrant flavor and aroma, whereas the suspension technique is incredibly light and vibrant.

Tips & Considerations

  • Organic lemons are important since the lemon rind is being used.  Though, organic or not, wash them well!  Pesticides and wax do not enhance the flavor or enjoyment of limoncello.
  • You’ve probably seen recipes that warn against using a peeler because it’s difficult to avoid the pith and the pith makes the limoncello bitter.  However, in this case it’s OK to use a peeler because the peel is only being boiled for a few minutes so it won’t have time to impart a bitter flavor.
  • Yes, it really takes at least three months for the vodka to become sufficiently infused with the lemon.  Be patient!
  • Limoncello can be stored in the freezer and tastes very refreshing served cold.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Mellow Limoncello
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
This recipe makes one bottle of limoncello that has a very mellow flavor!
Ingredients
  • Phase 1
  • 750 ml vodka (any brand you enjoy) [phase 1]
  • 4 Meyer lemons - whole (organic is preferable) [phase 1]
  • cheesecloth [phase 1]
  • large glass jar with tight fitting lid [phase 1]
  • Phase 2
  • 2 Meyer lemons - peeled (organic is preferable) [phase 2]
  • 1 C sugar [phase 2]
  • 1 C water [phase 2]
Instructions
  1. Phase 1: Pour the vodka into the large glass container.
  2. Make a lemon hammock with the cheesecloth by placing the 4 lemons in the center of the cheesecloth. Tie two corners on the diagonal together as close to the lemons as possible. Then tie the other two corners on the diagonal.
  3. Suspend the lemons over the vodka, but do not allow the lemons to touch the vodka. Place the four ends of the cheesecloth over the lip of the jar and close the lid.
  4. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 3 months. Do not disturb the jar. And don't worry - the lemons won't turn gross. If they do, you have a problem and need to start over.
  5. After 3 months, discard the lemons.
  6. Phase 2: Carefully peel 2 fresh lemons with a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the pith (white part) as much as possible.
  7. In a small sauce pan, add water, sugar, lemon peels, and the juice of the two lemons to make simple syrup.
  8. Bring simple syrup to a boil for 5-7 minutes while stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  9. Let simple syrup cool a bit and then strain into vodka.
  10. Chill and serve!

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One Response

  1. Tammy February 21, 2016

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