I am making limoncello!
Limoncello is the traditional Italian lemon-flavored liqueur made using lemon zest.
Here is the basic recipe
A long time (80 days at least) and
the zest of 15 lemons
750 ml 100 proof vodka
750 ml Everclear (190-proof) alcohol
750 ml water
4 cups sugar
Wash and dry the lemons. Some people use a lemon zester I used a potato peeler to peel just the yellow part of the skin off the lemons, be sure not to peel any of the white part under the peel, otherwise known as pith. The pith makes the limoncello bitter.
In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar with lid), pour vodka and Everclear alcohol, add the lemon zest/peel. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for 40 days in a cool dark place. You will see that the once clear liquid is now very yellow.
After 40 days, strain the lemon peel from the limoncello mixture. Toss out the peel, and pour the limoncello mixture back in the large jar.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; bring to a gentle boil and let boil, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, making sure all the sugar disolves. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool to room tempature.
Add cooled sugar mixture to the Limoncello mixture. Cover jar and allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days. (this part is cool because the limoncello mixture and clear sugar water when mixed turn opaque when mixed)
After the rest period, strain the limoncello. Pour strained Limoncello in bottle/bottles and seal tightly. (I personally don’t think this second straining is necessary unless you left in some of the peels, the first time around.)
According to this recipe the Limoncello should be about 45% alcohol by volume that is about 90 proof.
Limoncello is best when served directly from the freezer.
As an after dinner drink, serve one ounce in a small chilled aperitif glass.
As a refreshing dessert, pour an ounce over a large scoop of shaved ice and garnish with a lemon twist.
Another way to serve it is to pour a shot of the liqueur over sparkling water and ice. It makes a refreshing lemony cocktail for a hot summer day.