A lemon liqueur from southern Italy.
- 2 lbs.very fresh lemons(anywhere from 12 small to 8 lg. washed
- 1 quart vodka
- 6 c. water
- 2 1/2 c. sugar
- Use thick-skinned, mottled green and yellow lemons
With a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons in thin strips, taking care not to include adny of the bitter white pith.
Put the lemon zest into a half gallon jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour in the alcohol, cover and let stand, out of the sunlight for 3-4 weeks shaking the jar several times a day.
When the lemon zest is pale and as crisp as parchment, you've extracted all of its oil. Strain the lemon-flavored alcohol and discard the zest.
Make a sugar syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a med. saucepan and stir over med heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear. Do not boil. let cool to room temp.
Stir the syrup into the infused alcohol. The mixture will turn cloudy. Pour the liquid through a funnel into two clean, dry bottles. The liqueur can be strained through fine gauze or cheesecloth, but unless there are stray bits of zest, this isn't necessary. Seal the bottles with clean corks.
Note: This recipe makes a rather dry liqueur, if you'd like a sweeter one, increase the sugar to 3 1/4 cups and reduce the water to 5 1/2 cups.
Makes 2 quarts