When one talks about time and consumer products, one can actually see a similarity in both. The longer we wait for products, the bigger the anticipation. Also, when some consumer products age, they get better as time goes by. A good future of a Bordeaux wine and a good cognac are just some of the many consumer products that get better over time. This idea about time and consumer products can be related in the process of making limoncello. The longer you let the lemon peals sit in the everclear, the more lemon flavor you will be able to get in your final product.
We left our infusion sit in a cool, dark place for about 3 to 4 weeks, stirring it 2 or 3 times a week. Now is time to begin the second part in the making of limoncello. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Grab your second container that fits roughly about 2 liters of liquid and place a funnel over it. Pour the infusion with the peals and the everclear through the funnel, avoiding any peals or sediments entering the second container. I recommend placing a strainer over the funnel and pouring the infusion through it. By doing so, you are sure that no small pieces of lemon peals have entered the second container. After you have poured the infusion in the second container, you can throw away the peals used in the making of the limoncello. You end up with the bright golden color liquid, high proof in alcohol and with the delicious aroma of lemon.
2. Set aside the lemon infused everclear for now. In a saucepan, place 750mL of water and 750 grams of sugar and bring it up to a boil to make a 1:1 (equal parts of water and sugar) simple syrup. Stir the liquid and make sure that all of the sugar is dissolved. When the simple syrup is boiling, take it out of the heat and set it aside to cool. ATTENTION: You must let the simple syrup cool before combining the lemon infused everclear and the simple syrup.
3. After the simple syrup has cooled to about room temperature, incorporate the lemon infusion with the simple syrup and just like that you have limoncello.
4. One way that you could store your limoncello is by either using the same bottle of everclear and pouring in your limoncello or by buying empty bottles at your local supermarket. With the ingredients we have used, you end up roughly with about 1 to 1.5 liters of limoncello.
After I finished making my limoncello, I decided to go to my local liquor store and bought a mid price bottle of limoncello. The differences are pretty big. Starting with the color. The limoncello I bought at the liquor store has a very light yellow/green color. At first, I thought that it was going to be bright golden color, but the funny thing is that the bottle itself gives some color and when the liquid is poured is when you notice the opaque color. The limoncello that you will hopefully make has a cloudy golden color. When poured into small shot glasses next to each other, you can totally notice the difference between the purchased and homemade limoncello.
Obviously, the most important aspect of the limoncello is the flavor. The purchased limoncello has a sweet candy smell and flavor. Is like you are smelling and sucking on a lemon flavor candy. After swallowed, the lemon flavor goes away pretty quickly. On the other hand, the homemade limoncello has a sweet aroma of lemons. Is like you are holding in your hands a lemon and smelling it. On the tongue, instead of biting on a sour lemon, it tastes like you are eating a sweet lemon. The flavor stays medium-long inside your mouth. Regarding the alcohol by volume of the homemade limoncello, I compared it to the one I bought at the liquor store. The purchased limoncello was 26% ABV and the homemade limoncello is lighter on the alcohol. I would place it between 20% and 25% ABV. I hope you consider making your own limoncello and hope you enjoy it like I still am.