Limoncello, take 2

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Kraffty

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This is my second attempt at this magical liquor. My first batch was made with .750ml 103 proof UV vodka and 14 meyer lemons. It was diluted with about 2 cups of 50/50 simple syrup. It tasted good but not close to what you can buy.

This second attempt created a completely different limoncello that really tastes and feels like the bottle of Caravella I bought to compare for citrus and sweetness levels.

For this go-around I used 3 750ml bottles of 95% abv Everclear. I used a potato peeler to take just the zest of 40 lemons (yellow part only as all recipes stress). After a week the lemon peels turned white and would snap in half when you bent them. The difference in the extraction between the different alcohols was amazing. I strained the extract through paper towels then diluted the extract at 1 part alcohol to 2 parts simple syrup (made from 1 part sugar to 2 parts water). Both versions ended up right at 30% abv but this one had a completely different taste. It was smoother right from the beginning. No harsh alcohol flavor and really beautiful color and even the density of color. I’ve stocked them away to mellow a few months more but they really are drinkable already.

I ended up with 7 and a half .750ml bottles. I expected to end up with 9 but didn’t account for loss from (I’m guessing here) absorption into the peels, paper towels when filtering and spilling the extract when moving and pouring it around. Still at about $50.00 for the EverClear and some small change worth of sugar - and free lemons from my yard - it works out to less than $7.00 per bottle versus $20.00 for the Caravella bottle. There are lots of recipes out there but I guarantee you’ll love this if you get a chance to try it.

Mike

limoncello.jpg

limoncelloFinished.JPG
 

Mismost

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Interesting....I am making some extracts, orange and Myer lemons...they have nowhere near the color you have. Flavor yes, color no. Same Everclear...hummm?? We'll see what happens.
 

Kraffty

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@Mismost I know the first version I did was pretty clear and very faint in color, I actually cheated and added some yellow food coloring to that first batch to make it look nicer. The color you see has had absolutely nothing added to it. I wish I had taken a picture of the extract before diluting it, it was so dark and really deep orange, almost red.
Mike
 

Boatboy24

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Wow, Mike! Incredible color on that 'cello. I use a very similar recipe, but mine is a much lighter yellow.

I have a bottle and a half of Everclear - need to get to work.
 

jburtner

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I do this with Vodka and many many many zested lemons every summer - yes 40 or even 80 and next time will use more. How ever many you purchase - just double it before you think you have enough. No sugar added and keep it in the freezer once you are happy with the extract. It comes out crystal clear and yellow once filtered - flavor is similar to pinesol and it's a powerful "drink". Nothing sweet about it.

Last time I did it I had a bottle that sat for a year and I had not yet strained the zest out so I did that and it was very smooth. The year did it right by me.

Need to do this again and I recommend making extra and letting it sit for a long time...

Drink it as an after dinner digestive ice cold and all at once - not for sipping.

I'll try the everclear but that may be too strong don't want to hurt anyone.

Cheers!
-johann
 

wineforfun

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This is my second attempt at this magical liquor. My first batch was made with .750ml 103 proof UV vodka and 14 meyer lemons. It was diluted with about 2 cups of 50/50 simple syrup. It tasted good but not close to what you can buy.

This second attempt created a completely different limoncello that really tastes and feels like the bottle of Caravella I bought to compare for citrus and sweetness levels.

For this go-around I used 3 750ml bottles of 95% abv Everclear. I used a potato peeler to take just the zest of 40 lemons (yellow part only as all recipes stress). After a week the lemon peels turned white and would snap in half when you bent them. The difference in the extraction between the different alcohols was amazing. I strained the extract through paper towels then diluted the extract at 1 part alcohol to 2 parts simple syrup (made from 1 part sugar to 2 parts water). Both versions ended up right at 30% abv but this one had a completely different taste. It was smoother right from the beginning. No harsh alcohol flavor and really beautiful color and even the density of color. I’ve stocked them away to mellow a few months more but they really are drinkable already.

I ended up with 7 and a half .750ml bottles. I expected to end up with 9 but didn’t account for loss from (I’m guessing here) absorption into the peels, paper towels when filtering and spilling the extract when moving and pouring it around. Still at about $50.00 for the EverClear and some small change worth of sugar - and free lemons from my yard - it works out to less than $7.00 per bottle versus $20.00 for the Caravella bottle. There are lots of recipes out there but I guarantee you’ll love this if you get a chance to try it.

Mike
So you left the lemon zest in for only a week before removing and cutting with simple syrup?
Also, I assume I can downsize this recipe proportionately without hurting the flavor? I have a bottle of Everclear at home and would just use it and say 15 lemons.
 

Boatboy24

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I use a similar recipe and it scales pretty well.

Timing is dependent on the peel, and the alcohol used. Some use vodka and don't cut it as much - in that case, the extraction takes much longer. You can tell when its done by the peel - it will be white and somewhat brittle. I don't think there is any harm in leaving it longer than necessary though.
 

ibglowin

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Very cool! Our oldest daughter and SIL live in Burbank and have a huge Myer Lemon tree as well and this would be a great way to use a small portion of their crop they have each year.
 

wineforfun

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I use a similar recipe and it scales pretty well.

Timing is dependent on the peel, and the alcohol used. Some use vodka and don't cut it as much - in that case, the extraction takes much longer. You can tell when its done by the peel - it will be white and somewhat brittle. I don't think there is any harm in leaving it longer than necessary though.
Thanks Jim. I may give this a go. I will definitely be using Everclear, as that is what I have on hand currently.

Just started making baking extracts so this will fit in the mix nicely.
 

geek

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I am also going to scale this down a bit, I have less than a .750ml bottle handy and will go get 12 lemons at Walmart. Very small 'batch' just to get my feet wet.

My wife told me they sell lemoncello at Costco and it is so popular that they run out right away; like $12 a bottle but don't know the size of the bottle right now.
If so popular then it must be good and cheap compared to making it yourself..
 

Kraffty

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I don't really think you can screw this up in any way except possibly zesting or peeling too deeply and getting the pith or white of the peel in with the alcohol. It will turn it bitter. I also took a sip of mine last night and it does blend together even more after a few weeks of aging. The one thing I might do differently on my next batch is use a few less lemons. It has plenty of sweetness but maybe very slightly out of balance towards the lemon flavor. I guess I could sweeten and dilute some more everclear and do a bench trial to see if taking back the amount of lemon would improve it or not but that will have to wait for the next trip to Arizona for more 95% stuff.
Mike
 

joeswine

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limoncello,take 2

outstanding color and I'm sure the taste profile is spot on,zesting can be fun and very rewarding.

1.jpg

6.jpg

P1030104.jpg
 

geek

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Just started this very small "batch".
Used 11 lemons [emoji522]
About .500ml of 190 proof grain alcohol.....man is this thing STRONG or what??

ImageUploadedByWine Making1491515984.598139.jpg
ImageUploadedByWine Making1491516013.829593.jpg
 

Kraffty

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Varis, I'm guessing that price is for a .375 size bottle. All the bottles I've seen both online and in stores are right around the 18 to 22.00 range for .750 ml. You should pick one up though and have a taste if you haven't had it before, it'll give you the chance to compare and have something to shoot for as far a sweetness and color etc. LOOKING Good.
Mike
 

geek

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Mike, if you are referring to the one sold at Costco, I will check.
 

jumby

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I make limoncello all the time. Here's a pic of my latest 3 gallon batch of goodness. I use 195 proof Everclear and 18-20 lemons per gallon. When life gives you lemons, make limoncello!

3 gallons.jpg

limencello.jpg
 

geek

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@jumby

How do you make it sweet, the inverted sugar method? What ratio?
 

jumby

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I use 6 cups of sugar per gallon.
 
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