Friday, December 3, 2010

Homemade Christmas Bliss....


On my Tray of Bliss today is the Limoncello I've made for family and friends as gifts this year.

Limoncello is seductive when served chilled from the freezer and is simply lemon peel (no pith...that's the white stuff) steeped in vodka for a couple of weeks, strained and mixed with a sugar syrup, and left to brew to a luscious smooth liqueur over several weeks or months.

The labels are something I just whipped up using some clipart, and I have decoupaged white tissue paper over them to give an artisanal appearance.

My family look forward to my home made gifts each year, and just between you and me, I reckon this one's a real winner!

Recipe for the Limoncello Sensazionale`....

Ingredients:

1 litre vodka...cheap is fine
12 organic or home grown lemons (spray free)

For the sugar syrup used later:

4 cups sugar
6 cups water

Equipment:

Large open mouthed jar with airtight lid. A spaghetti storage jar with a swing top lid is ideal.

Sharp vegetable peeler

Saucepan for making sugar syrup

Method:

Peel the yellow peel from the lemons, being careful not to get any of the white pith as it will make the limoncello bitter. Pile these into the jar, and add the vodka. Leave in a cool, dark place for 14 days, giving the mix a swirl every couple of days. The liquid will gradually turn yellow and the peel will fade.

After 14 days, strain the mixture through a clean, damp Chux or some muslin, into a large bowl or jug.

Make the sugar syrup by bringing the 6 cups of water to a simmer and adding the 4 cups of sugar. Stir until dissolved and allow to cool.

Add the cooled sugar syrup to the lemon vodka, and mix well.

Rebottle as desired. You can put in a little extra vodka at this point if you like. This will increase your yield, but I would only do it to top up bottles, not to dilute it or you will lose the flavour.

You can then make a super cute label using a fancy font and clip art.

I glued mine to the bottles with Decoupage Glue. I then pasted a torn piece of white tissue wrap over it to give it that hand made look.

My bottles were sourced through eBay, but many of the discount stores and home brew suppliers have suitable containers.

The longer you leave the Limoncello, the smoother it becomes. I have a 5 litre flagon of it on the go now. A bit of an outlay up front, but it's for my sons' wedding next year, along with a few gifts in between.

This recipe works equally well with limes, blood oranges or valencias.

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?


9 comments:

  1. Family and friends?????? :]

    Impressive as always Mim's you are a super hero!

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  2. Wonderful Mimi, they are lucky family and friends xxx Rae xxx

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  3. Yes, I know Kimmie...I never end up with ANY! And now I suppose you're wondering where yours is? Pop up the hill soon and one is yours for the asking :)

    Ah...thanks Rae...you are sweet.

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  4. They look so great. Can I ask where you got the little bottles from? I think I will do this for next year :)

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  5. simmy I bought them on eBay where they were a bit of a lucky find.

    I suggest doing the same, or using recycled glass bottles of any kind.

    Those little Moccona Latte and Iced Coffee ones would be perfect.

    There are bottle 'wholesalers' around, but most require a minimum $200 or 'quantity' order. I tried :(

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  6. Hi Mimi ,can you post your recipe please !I have a few friends who would love a bottle I may do it next year !Or could make it for birthday gifts through out the year !
    Yes the bottles look gorgeous..how much to they hold.

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  8. Sherrie, sorry I missed your question.

    Those bottles hold 375mls.

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx