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Chill Out with Homemade Limoncello

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The weather's warming, and I'm about ready for nights by the pool spent wining and dining with friends.

I've been dreaming up a warm-weather grilled pizza and sangria party ever since "winter" came around, trying to come up with a special little something to top the evening off. Enter Limoncello, the Italian lemon liqueur that is traditionally chilled and served as an after-dinner digestif.

And who would've known I could make it so easily on my own? Here's how to do it:

Limoncello

You'll need

  • 2-quart glass pitcher or large jar
  • Peeler/Paring knife
  • 750 ml bottle of grain alcohol (Everclear) or vodka, or try a mixture of both
  • 10 organic lemons, for peeling - pick smooth lemons with thick skin
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Bottles for storing

    Directions

    Wash and dry lemons. Carefully peel off the yellow parts of the skin, removing any pith (the white, bitter layer under the skin) from the peels with a paring knife.

    Put the lemon peels in a large glass pitcher or jar and cover with the alcohol of choice. Cover and let steep at room temperature for at least five days, stirring daily to infuse flavor. The longer you let the lemon peels steep, the more the lemon flavor will infuse. Two weeks is ideal for strong flavor.

    When ready to make the liqueur, bring three cups of water and three cups of sugar to a boil. Let boil for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Let syrup cool and add to jar with alcohol.

    Cover and let mixture marry for at least one day. Strain to remove peels and funnel into bottles for storing. Refrigerate the bottles for at least four hours.

    Enjoy chilled on a warm Texas night.


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