January 10, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Sunshine in a Bottle

One of my fonder memories of visiting the island of Capri, off the coast of southern Italy, was my introduction to the region's signature liqueur, limoncello. Made with lemons and served chilled, it was the perfect digestif for such an exotic location. Bursting with flavor upon one's palate, it was like Mediterranean sunshine in a bottle.

So why am I reminiscing about a liqueur nearly a year and a half after traveling to Italy? One of the long-procrastinated things I've accomplished during my time off over the last few weeks was to finally try my hand at brewing my own batch of limoncello. Yesterday, I completed the final step in the recipe, so after a week or two of final infusion, the concotion will be ready for bottling and drinking. I took a little taste yesterday, and the experiment seems to have proven successful.

If you're lucky, you might be able to have a taste or two if I see you in the near future. Otherwise, you can give the recipe a try yourself if you're adventurous enough. Ciao!

Limoncello

8-10 good-sized lemons
1 bottle (750 ml) of grain alcohol (e.g. Everclear)
500 ml distilled water
1 1/2 lb. sugar

Peel the "zest" from all of the lemons (the outer, yellow part of the peel), being careful not to get any of the white pith from the inner part of the peel. Put the lemon zest into a large bottle or jar (a Mason jar or lemonade/ice tea jar would work fine), add the grain alcohol, and place in a cool, dry place for 3-4 weeks. Shake or stir gently from time to time.

When you're ready for the next step, filter out the lemon zest from the alcohol infusion (I accomplished this with a simple #4 coffee filter). Next, dissolve the sugar into the distilled water and boil for 5 minutes to create a syrup. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then add it to the alcohol infusion in the same bottle/jar that you originally used (after washing out any remaining lemon peel residue). Let sit again in a cool, dry place for a minimum of one week, occasionally stirring/shaking gently. Then bottle the finished product into small bottles and give out to all your friends and family!

Note: Limoncello should be served well-chilled, preferably from the freezer (it won't freeze), in small (1-2 ounce) servings as a digestif. I've heard it's also good poured over vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

 

©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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Previously...

1/9: What Would Jesus Drive?
1/8: Southwestern Sojourn
1/7:
Wheel of Fortune
1/6:
Class Warfare
1/5: Very Large Dream
1/4:
The New Nuclear Age
1/3:
Going Solo
1/2:
New Year, Old Cave
1/1: All Things End

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