26 May 2019

When Life Gives You Limoncello

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
I've got just the thing. You know that old saying, "When life gives you Limoncello, you must've done something special." Okay, it's not an old saying yet, but if enough people get behind it, then it will become one. So now, I'm going to teach you how to make your own Limoncello. The same stuff they serve on cruise ships when it's Italian Night. This way, this same fine liqueur will be handy when you do something special, like finish your short story or novel.

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
Ready, Begin:

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.


  1. Looks like a great idea. The best I've come up with when I finish something is to take an extra nap. I AM half Italian.

  2. Hmm, can I just have a Harvey Wallbanger instead, R.T.? Milk and booze just don't seem to go together for me :-) .

  3. Paul, you would be pleasantly surprised. It is very smooth and tasty. The homemade is even better than the commercially made.

    I hear you on the milk and alcohol though. I used to have a partner who had stomach problems and therefore drank his scotch mixed with milk. Sounded like a bad idea to me until I tried this Limoncello recipe.

  4. I tried RT's limoncello and this was my experience.

    I'm not so good with metric stuff, so I figured 750ml vodka must be 2 or 3 gallons, maybe more. I squished in the lemon rind and put it away for 10 days. Because 10 days seemed so far away, I also bought a bottle of tequila, a bottle of sloe gin, a bottle of dark rum, and a huge jug of hoopleberry wine.

    After ten minutes, I checked the infusion. A few ounces tasted like lemon peel and vodka, so I set it back in the closet with the white asparagus. I had some with the tequila.

    At 3pm, I checked again and it still tasted like lemon rind and vodka. While I was at it, I poured a tumbler of rum.

    At 6pm, I filled the tumbler with the infusion. It shtill tashted like cheap vodka and the blue stamp on the lemon's ass.

    I didn't exactly pass out, but I woke at 9pm and shecked again. So mush had evaporated, at leash half a gallon. It tasted funny. No, my mouth tashte funny and fuzzy like a doggy's butt.

    By midnight, I ran out of the jug wine so I schecked again. My boyfwiend found me sitting of the floor. Half the infushion evaporated.

    At six in the morning, I crawled to the cupboard to test the influsion. Pretty good shtuff. An hour later, my roommate said she couldn't use the crapper with my head in the toilet.

    By 2pm, mosht of she infloosion has evaporated. My neighbor said he was calling the cops if I didn't stop belching Jingle Bells. Anyway, thish is my limonjello esshay. Good shtuff, RT.

  5. Love the recipe, but Bette Noir's is the best! LOL!


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