Homemade Limoncello

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How to make homemade moonshine…

Just kiding, but that’s what it felt like pouring vodka into jars in my kitchen.

We have been sitting with an unusual problem for the last little while. We have had a surplus of leomns. The tree in our garden increased it’s yield by over 300%. Though this is only because last Winter it gre 3 lemons and this year it grew 13. We’ve also been receiving about 3 lemons a week in our veggie box from Ethical Co-Op. So… now what.

I didn’t really want to make lemonade because of the sugar content, so we decided on limoncello. Yes it also has sugar in it, but we’ll definitely only be drinking a little at a time.

So the process is rather easy. Buy a bottle of vodka (750ml). They say the best is 100 or 80 proof vokda, but nothing lower than this. What they mean is that the vodka should have between 40% and 50% alcohol content. Fancy words for nothing. I bought a bottle of Smirnoff which as recommended on a few sites.

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The lemons need to be organic. Or at least organically grown. The reason for this is simple. You only use the skins to make limoncello. If pesticide is used in the growing process, it will have absorbed into the lemon’s skins. You don;t want that in your refreshing Summer drink. So, our combo of homegrown and organically bought lemons would work well.

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I had 11 lemons to use, which ended up being a good amount. Interestingly, our homegrown lemons were the easiest to peel. i think maybe because their skins were knobbly so there was more surface traction for the peeler to work with. Also, when you peel the lemons, you don’t want any of the white bit to go into the vodka. This is the bitter bit you don’t want. Our lemons when peeled came away in clean little yellow flakes. Perfect!

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The next step is to put the peels into the vodka. The idea is to divide everything up equally so the two can benefit as much from each other as they can. In reality, I did this roughly, as I plan to put them back into my vodka bottle when they are done getting yummy. Now they need to be stored in a cool dark place for 4 weeks, while being stirred once every week. I’ll give feedback when this process is done. There’s also the job of making a syrup to go in this when it’s done to make it sweet, but that I’ll keep for the finished product post.

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Not wanting to waste any of the lemons, I juiced them. This is the amount of lemon juice you get from 11 lemons. This is a normal size mayo jar, just to give you an idea. Now to come up with a plan for this. I think I may just be making lemon curd for the first time this weekend…

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