Smooth, sweet-tart, and bursting with sunshine, Limoncello is a liqueur from the Amalfi Coast region of Italy. It's a great finale to a meal, delicious year-round, and makes a wonderful gift, too. It's easy to make. You just need lemons, alcohol and sugar.
Carefully peel the yellow skin from about a dozen organic lemons. Because you're infusing the skins, the lemons do need to be organic; you don't want any chemicals leeching out into your drink. You want the yellow part only, not the white pith.
Put the peels into a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour on a bottle of alcohol (you can use grain alcohol or a good-quality vodka.) Seal and put in a cool, dark place for 40 days and 40 nights. Give it a shake every now and again.
Strain out the peels.
Make a sugar syrup of 1 1/2 Cups sugar and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then turn off. When it's cool, add it to the lemon alcohol.
Decant into bottles. Enjoy! It's best when served very well-chilled.
2005 Valerie Schneider