Not long ago, I had the privilege of trying some homemade Limoncello—an Italian digestif that’s typically enjoyed after dinner—and if you’ve never tasted it, or are a fan of citrus, this will easily become your new nightcap. Instead of buying a bottle, I decided to give it a go and make my own. Before you think this sounds too daunting, it only takes three ingredients—vodka, lemons, and sugar. For those of you who aren’t too kitchen-savvy, this recipe is perfect, because all the magic happens by leaving it alone. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting to take the first sip, but it’s so worth it. Bright, refreshing, and slightly sweet, it’s a great drink to sip anytime—and will taste so much better knowing you made it yourself. Salute!
(Makes 7 cups)
1 750 ml bottle of vodka (whichever you prefer)
3 ½ cups water
2 ½ cups sugar
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips, and make sure not to include the white pith, which is bitter. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the peels in the vodka for at least days at room temperature (you can steep lemons for as long as 40 days for a more intense flavor).
After letting the vodka and lemons steep for 10 days, make a simple syrup out of the sugar and water by boiling the mixture in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the lemon vodka mixture, and let it sit for another 10 days. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer and discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold. Limoncello can stay in the fridge for up to a month, or be kept in the freezer for future imbibing.