In the beautiful movie Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances, the main character, buys and renovates a rural Tuscan villa after her divorce. She meets the handsome Marcello on a beach in Positano. He introduces her to limoncello. It is a lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy. Along the Amalfi coast it is served after dinner in small ceramic glasses that have been chilled.
A visit to Positano and the Amalfi Coast is definitely on our bucket list, but for now we have to settle for limoncello. As it is difficult to find the liqueur in shops, we had decided to make our own. We had a stay-at-home-Friday, as Deon was too busy to take the afternoon off.
A few days ago, Deon found a couple of beautiful bottles at a local hardware shop. I peeled the lemons last Saturday, poured the vodka over and after four days of waiting, I could finally bottle the limoncello today. It smells gorgeous, almost like lemon essence. It will be part of our Christmas gift baskets this year.
3½ cups water
2½ cups sugar
750 ml vodka
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the lemons in long strips. Cut away any white pith from the lemon peels and discard. Place the lemon peels in a large jug and pour the vodka over it. Cover and seal with plastic wrap. Place in a dark area at room temperature for 4 days.
After 4 days: Stir the water in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved, let it cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture, cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer and discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold.