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Limoncello

Published On: Apr 24 2012 01:00:16 PM MDT
Updated On: May 16 2012 04:31:56 AM MDT
Lemon

Makes 3 ½ cups

"When life gives you lemons -- make limoncello," says my friend in Italy, where I learned to enjoy the Italian custom of sipping this digestif after dinner. The liqueur is available in many American liquor stores, but it's fun to make your own, like the Italians do.

Best stored in the freezer, Limoncello can be served straight up in a tiny chilled glass, or as a palate-cleanser during or after a multicourse meal. For a special dessert, blend limoncello with ice cream. Begin the simple process of making Limoncello now for holiday gifts; you'll find attractive bottles and corks in gourmet and import shops.

2 cups 100-proof vodka

Zest of 5 lemons, preferably organic

2 cups water

1 ½ cups sugar

Combine the vodka and lemon zest in a 1-quart covered glass jar; let stand at room temperature for 3 days.

Make a simple syrup by heating the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat; stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and bring to room temperature.

Stir the syrup into the jar containing the vodka. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve; discard the lemon zest.

Pour the Limoncello into one or more clean glass bottles and cap tightly. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.