The time-honored Girl Scout song persistently played in my head while writing this week’s entry. Even if you weren’t a Girl Scout, you know the song: “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other is gold.”
Moving to a new place offers many rewards, but no reward is sweeter than spending time with new friends bearing a gift of homemade limoncello. Their daughter spent time in Italy and, while visiting, they made this sweet nectar of the gods together. With limoncello gaining popularity, it’s easy to pick-up a bottle from your local supermarket, but nothing (and I repeat, NOTHING) compares to the real deal.
After spending an evening enjoying good food, rousing conversation, belly-splitting laughs, and this love-laden Italian digestif, I begged to be brought in on the secret. My new, silver friends have already been upgraded to gold!
Phase 1 Instructions
For the first phase, peel the outer skin from the lemons (the zest), making sure that no white is attached to the zest. Place peeled zest in the gallon container and cover with Everclear. Seal container and store for two weeks in a dark, cool place, shaking to agitate the liquid twice a day.
Phase 2 Instructions
After two weeks, make the simple syrup. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add the sugar and remove from the heat, stirring until dissolved. Cover and let cool to room temperature. Place a colander on top of the saucepan and strain in the Everclear contents from the gallon container. Discard the lemon peel. Stir to combine the liquids, about one minute. Transfer back to the gallon container and store for three weeks in a dark, cool place, shaking to agitate the liquid twice a day.
Phase 3 Instructions
After three weeks, transfer the limoncello to smaller bottles that can be stored in the freezer. After a meal, serve limoncello in small, cordial glasses, directly from the freezer.