Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Limoncello...& Lemonade ....Just in time for Easter!

Homemade Limóncello & Homemade Lemonade

 These two recipes go hand in hand.  After using the rinds to start your Limóncello recipe you can whip up a batch of yummy homemade lemonade with the leftover lemons!
  I first tried this recipe two years ago and have tweaked it a bit!
This recipe is easy (as long as you have a little patience)  Now's the perfect time to start it so it will be ready for an after Easter Dinner treat on the rocks...
It can be used as a substitute for simple syrup in drinks like yummy Citrus Margaritas, or in a light Summer Sangria!
 I was inspired after seeing Giada make this Orangecello
I researched a few other recipes before deciding I was going to longer let mine sit for longer.
I had a bottle of Organic Vodka that was not the yummiest thing I had ever tasted so this was the perfect opportunity.



6 Lemons
1L (750ml) Bottle of Vodka
3 Cups of Sugar (I use Organic turbinado)
2 Cups of Water
1 Stem of Lemongrass
First  using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel the thin yellow outer layer of the lemons in strips, trying to get as little pith (the white stuff) as possible.  The pith can add a bitter flavor to your recipe.  Gently scrape off any pith that might remain.
Then  add the lemon rinds to the vodka shake it up.  I store mine in the top shelf of my pantry where it is dark and cool, for about a month.  Once in a while go in and shake it up.
The vodka will slowly take on the yellow hue of the lemon rinds and the rinds will start to turn white as you can see below.

Then in a medium sauce pan add the water and sugar to the pan over medium heat.  Cut the lemongrass stalk into 3 pieces and smash each piece of stem with my knife to release the juice and add the stalk pieces to the syrup. Slowly simmer the water occasionally swirling with a whisk until all the sugar is dissolved.
It is perfectly fine to make just a plain simple syrup by leaving out the lemongrass but I love the floral flavor it adds!
Remove from heat and cool.
Then take 1/3 of the syrup (approx. 1 c.) to use for the lemonade.
The rest I store in a glass container in the fridge with the lemon grass pieces for later.
After about a month the Limóncello will look like the picture above.
Then strain the Limóncello through a fine mesh strainer and add the remaining reserved simple syrup (remove the lemongrass stalks)
This delicious liquer can be served over ice or mixed into other drinks!



Remaining parts of the 6 lemons used above
1 Cup of Lemongrass Simple Syrup from above
4 cups of water
1 Lemon Sliced for Garnish
Juice the 6 Lemons. Add the lemon juice water and simple syrup to a pitcher and stir.
I going to use this batch of Lemonade for Passion Tea Lemonade I saw on Pinterest!
Keep in the fridge until ready to serve!



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