Let's say you just finished your short story or novel. Your creation is complete. It's been a long, hard journey getting to this point, but now you find yourself with a feeling of contentment, exhilaration. You want to celebrate while this good feeling lasts, and rightly so. But what to use to mark this short celebration?
A beer? Yes, beers are good, but no, that's a common every day drink. Champagne? Not really. Cheap champagne isn't that good and the good stuff is pricey. Besides, you've only completed your creation, you haven't sold it yet. A cocktail? Well, that's more like being on vacation or for some serious drinking. Actually, what you need is something different, something special and something within your budget.
|The small glasses that Limoncello is normally served in|
|The glass I serve me in|
Assemble the following:
8-10 ~ large lemons
1 ~ 750 ml of vodka (we use Tito's for its smoothness)
7 ~ cups of whole milk
1 ~ cup of Half & Half
4 & 1/2 ~ cups of sugar
1 ~ vanilla bean
a few 12-16 ounce glass bottles (empty wine bottles work too)
|Limoncello in an EZ Cap bottle for a gift|
Naturally, we helped our friends consume half of their gift
1. Zest the lemons. For you guys who aren't familiar with the term, it means fine grate the outside of the lemons. Now, combine the grated peelings and the vodka in a large glass container, cover (or use a lid), and store in a cool, dark place for ten days to infuse the vodka with a lemon flavor. [NOTE: the remaining body of the lemons can be used to make lemon juice or some tasty lemon meringue pies.]
2. After ten days are up, strain the liquid through the cheesecloth into a large glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl.
3. In a large pot, combine and warm the milk, the 1/2 & 1/2, the sugar and the vanilla bean over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp. Take out the vanilla bean, wash it and save the bean for another use. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into the bowl containing the vodka infusion. Stir the two liquids together.
4. Funnel into whatever bottles you have, leaving enough room for the liquid to expand. Store in the freezer.
5. About an hour before consumption, remove one bottle from the freezer, so the contents can return to liquid form. Pour into small glasses and enjoy. Any leftover Limoncello may now be stored in the refrigerator or back in the freezer. Depending upon how often you tip the bottle, or how many friends you share with, know that the shelf life is approximately six months on any remaining Limoncello.
There you have it. Have a good celebration. Then get back to work. You still have to market that splendid creation you just finished writing.
PS ~ Limoncello in EZ Cap bottles also makes nice gifts for close friends.