Limoncello, stage 2

p1190618After 58 days of steeping, my limoncello (see earlier post here) sat ready for stage 2:  straining, diluting, and bottling.  Since I used long, wide strips of meyer lemon peel, the straining took seconds; I fished out all of the peels and made a few, quick swipes with a fine-mesh skimmer.   Next, I added an equal part of medium simple syrup (5 cups sugar to 3.5 cups water) and filled my motley collection of recycled bottles and jars.  The french fizzy lemonade bottles are perfect, as each sports a ceramic-rubber stopper and wire bail, but the mason jars worked just fine.  Plus, they’re easier to clean & reuse.

Now, I just need more patience, as the simple syrup-infused Everclear mixture needs to mellow quite a while longer.  Maybe by Mardi Gras it will reach the drinking point….appropriate, n’est-pas?

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5 thoughts on “Limoncello, stage 2

  1. Celeste,

    Did you get those lemonade bottles empty, or just buy the lemonade and reuse them?

    If you did get them empty, do you know where I can find them, assuming it’s in the NO area?

    Thanks.

    • I saved the bottles to re-use. The Riemes & Lorina carbonated lemonade bottles are great; I recall paying less than $4 per bottle at CostPlus during a promotional sale. Target carries Riemes as well. Grolsch beer bottles are good, too, but the green glass doesn’t show off the limoncello’s color. Still, the smaller beer bottle is probably a more reasonable size for gift-giving.

  2. Just curious why you decided to let it steep so long. I’ve never seen a recipe that calls for more than a week or two of steeping.

    I’ll be surprised if the flavor changes much at this point. I could be wrong. Let me know.

  3. Check out limoncelloquest.com; the author is limoncello-obsessed, and I followed his basic instructions. I do know that my mixture was only very lightly flavored with lemon after two weeks when I first tasted it….and he recommends aging in the bottle if you’ve used 190 everclear. Eventually, we’ll see if aging makes a difference: right now, the mixture is still pretty raw.

  4. A lot of the most popular recipes by famous chefs like Giada and Mario Batali call for just a few days of steeping. Most of the other recipes I see out there call for more than that.

    I personally find what Celeste says to be true, that only a couple days or even a couple weeks isn’t enough for even 190 proof liquor to extract all the oils from the lemon peels. I consider 30 days to be the minimum but I almost always let it infuse for 45-60 days.

    It’s all a matter of taste though, if you prefer less lemon flavor and more alcohol bite, less steeping would be in order.

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