1 750 ml bottle vodka
2 1/2 c white sugar
** I made half the recipe, which filled an empty 750 ml bottle when done with about 1/8 c leftover. So a full recipe will give you a little over 2 wine or liquor bottle sized bottles, or you can get smaller bottles to use as gifts.
NOTE: This recipe takes 5-6 days, so plan ahead!
You want as much of the pith off as you can. My peels were pretty thin - not the thick California lemons - so I pretty much had to scrape the pith off gently with the paring knife. This gets a bit tedious (and I only used 5 lemons since I made half a recipe) but if you leave the pith your limoncello will be bitter.
After 4 days, mix 3 1/2c of water with the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool completely. Pour into the vodka and let sit, covered, overnight.
Prepare clean bottles. I had a nice old Balvenie Scotch bottle - I love the shape!
Using a fine strainer and a funnel, pour the vodka mixture into your bottles.
RP Servings: depends on if you're drinking it straight as a liqueur, or as a mixer in a martini or other mixed beverage. However long your usual 750 ml bottles last!
RATING: 4 stars
I'd like it a little more lemony to sip straight. I will probably add some lemon zest if I have it as an aperitif. My husband, who loves martinis, said it will be great in one of his concoctions.
To tweak, next time I'll add more lemon peel - maybe 10 lemons but still only half the recipe. I might also use a 1:1 simple syrup ratio instead of the 3 1/2:2 1/2 this recipe uses. Still, for the first shot, it's really tasty and would make a great homemade gift, and you can change it up to your own sweet/tart tastes.