For the last ten years I have been a bit of a scrooge during the holidays. I find Christmas to be far too commercialized and hated being forced to go buy presents for people that they really didn't want. I think it's a waste of money, and that time of year should be about being close with the ones you love and having a special time.
The food and drinks are also a huge part of that for me. ;) Jon and I have decided we wanted to make all our holiday gifts and we will give them to the people we love rather than going out and blowing through our bank account. Most of the things we are giving away are going to be a surprise so I can't write about them yet, but I decided to write about my recipe for how to make homemade limoncello.
I wanted to experiment with a few different recipes I found online, but in the end I used one that I made up myself because it came out the best. My recipe takes months for aging, giving you the best tasting limoncello I have ever had.
I can't recall ever finding a person who didn't think this stuff was a great chilled sipping drink. As you can also see in my photo above, I bottled mine in these really cool 375ml bottles I found online. I topped them off with corks that you can also buy online. When it comes time to give them away I am going to wrap the tops in some cloth and ribbons or something equally as festive. You can get creative and do it however you like.
To start off you need to buy 10 - 15 organic lemons. They have to be organic otherwise you will end up with wax and pesticides in your final product and that's disgusting and toxic. If you have access to EverClear then you should buy a bottle of that as your base. EverClear is illegal in many states because it is extremely strong alcohol and could kill you if you drank it straight.
I know somebody who burned their entire esophagus just from taking a shot, so I would not recommend it. If you can't find EverClear then you should use the strongest vodka you can find, or any other grain alcohol that is over 100 proof. For some of my tests I zested the peel from the lemon, and in others I peeled them.
I found that the peeling is best and offers a more "lemony" final product. All you need to do is peel all your lemons while being very careful not to get any of the white pulp from under the yellow skin. Adding that to your alcohol will cause the mixture to get bitter. When all your lemons are peeled, pour a little of the alcohol out and add the lemon skins.