How to Make Limoncello + Two Limoncello Cocktails
Updated: May 28
I have been making a lot of cocktails from my home bar recently. I say home bar, I really mean my two tiered drinks cart, but it is well stocked and I love it dearly...especially at the moment when I can't go to an actual bar and order something beautiful.
There is no doubt that the pandemic of 2020 is absolutely no fun, BUT one good thing that has come from it is that a lot of people are trying their hand at new skills. My foray into previously unexplored has been making my own syrups, infusions and now my own liqueurs for cocktails. Make way for the limoncello, because this zesty babe is coming in hot. Or, well, actually, it's best served cold, but you get me.
Why make limoncello? Not to state the obvious, but it is delicious. Although the real reason I started making the lemony booze was because I wanted to be less wasteful. Lemons are not grown in Canada; they are not an abundant resource here and therefore it is my responsibility to make sure I am using all of the fruit. I am blitzing through lemons at the moment, and now I have a use for their peels.
Making limoncello is SO EASY that I am genuinely kinda annoyed with myself that I haven't been busting it out for years. Imagine how cool I would have been at beach parties (oh, those were the days) when I busted out a bottle of homemade citrus hooch?!
"Stop finding yourself so amusing and tell us how its done" - Okay. Sure. This is what you do:
HOW HOW HOW
Peel your lemons before you use them for juice (trust me, it's much easier) How many lemons should you peel? I would say 0.5 -1 lemon per 100 millilitres / 3.5 ounces of spirit. If you want to make a 750ml batch of limoncello, 5-7 lemons will get you a one way ticket to zest city.
Put the lemon peel in a jar, bowl or zip lock bag and cover them with a light layer of sugar. Measurements wise, I would add one table spoon of sugar per lemon.
Wait for 8 hours. Chill. Dream up some lemony cocktails you want to make. When the waiting is over, you'll have an oily substance in your mixture. Sugar draws out the natural oil in a lemon's skin and creates something called oleo saccharum. Oleo saccharum can be used as a cocktail syrup on its own right, or as a tasty treat to pour on pancakes, but it also is the main ingredient in a delish limoncello. OH, an the good news is that you can make oleo saccharum from any citrus fruit! Hurrah. Although I'll get to that later!
Mix the oleo saccharum with vodka. I mean, you can use gin, rum, whatever you want, but "proper" limoncello is made with vodka.
Leave the mixture to infuse for 5-7 days (or longer, but if you need that sweet sweet limoncello ASAP, it should taste great after a week).
Serve over ice. Toast to the lemon Gods.
Cocktails with Limoncello
So, you've made your own limoncello and now you want to go that extra mile. Nobody likes a show-off, but everybody likes a bartender, especially one who can create tasty and sustainable mixed drinks. So, my advice is mix it up and shake it up. Take that as you will.
Limoncello Aperol Spritz
1 oz limoncello
2 oz Aperol
3 oz dry sparkling wine
Ice, ice, ice
Slice of orange and lemon for garnish.
In a BIG BEAUTIFUL balloon glass filled with ice (or wine glass if you don't have one) pour in your limoncello and Aperol. Give them a little stir together and add your sparkling wine. Top with a few splashes of soda water and garnish with a slice of orange and lemon. Some people wait to stir an Aperol sprit because they like the colour gradient when serving it up. You do you, but stir before drinking.
1 oz limoncello
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
0.25 oz simple syrup
This is a JOY on a hot summers day! AN ABSOLUTE JOY! In a jar, stir together vodka, limoncello, lemon juice and simple syrup. Pour over ice rocks in a collins glass (longish, thinish), top with soda. Stir. Serve with a slice of lemon. YUM.
Watch Me Cocktail
Want to watch me in action? I am chatty, we know this. In this video I talk you through all of the above.