Friday, February 20, 2009
I say commitment because making it requires one. A 90-day commitment to patience. And it all started with two bottles of Everclear in the back of my car on Valentines Day. Aaawwwww, isn't it romantic?
Actually, it started with reading Diane's post here, where she invites her readers to join her in making limoncello. Timed with an upcoming trip to Southern California during high citrus season, I knew I could get my hands on some organic, reasonably priced Meyer lemons. So between babies and family and outings to the Wild Animal Park and In-N-Out, I stopped by a produce stand and picked up 20 or so Meyer lemons.
And I'm proud to say TSA did not confiscate my Meyer lemons. Once in Portland, I read up on limoncello making, and discovered two things:
1. It's traditionally made with grain alcohol. However, this high proof booze is not available in most states. Lucky for me, it is in Oregon. Thank you Oregon! Even though we have to buy our booze at state-run liquor stores, thank you for providing me with 190-proof liquor. Phew! That stuff stinks like rubbing alcohol. But I have faith. The higher the alcohol content the better the flavor extraction from the lemon peel.
2. When zesting the lemons, don't get any of the white part of the peel. You only want the peel. Zest carefully!
And in the end, you'll have zested lemons that look like this:*
In my huge infusion jar, I've combined the zest with the booze, pop in a sprig of rosemary, and now I wait 40 days. I trust Diane will blog about what to do then. (I think it's about adding a simple syrup and straining the peel.)
Patience is a virtue, right? Right. Patience will also help mellow that grain alcohol. Hopefully.
*I juiced the lemons and froze the juice in ice cube trays: I now have a bag of lemon juice cubes in my freezer handy for cooking or adding to smoothies.