Very cool wedding favor idea. Limoncello is an Italian, lemon-flavored liqueur, sometimes served as an apertif (or you can serve it after dinner).
Start this recipe about six months in advance and you’ll have a totally unique favor to hand to your guests at the end of the night.
What You’ll Need
- one bottle everclear (at least 151 proof)
- one bottle vodka (80-100 proof)
- 15-20 large thick skinned bright yellow lemons
- large clear glass jar
- 3-4 cups filtered tap water or distilled water (not mineral water)
- 3-4 cups pure white sugar
- cheese cloth
How to Make It
- Pour the bottle of everclear and the bottle of vodka into the large glass jar.
- Clean all of the lemon skins thoroughly with a vegetable brush. Dry the lemons. Use a peeler or zester to zest the yellow part of the skin off the lemons. You don’t want any pith (the white part) to get into the mixture, this will make it bitter. Try to make the pieces as large as possible, it will make the straining process easier
- Add all of your lemon zest to the jar and stir gently.
- Cover the jar tightly with a lid and store in a cool, dark spot (not in the fridge).
- Stir your mixture about once a week. Let the mixture sit for anywhere from 8 days to 40 days. The mixture should turn bright yellow and start to smell like lemons.
- Gently stir lemon peels.
- Scoop out one of the larger peels and test the flexibility. Ideally, when the peel breaks like a potato chip, you know you’re ready to move on to the next step.
- Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to a boil over high heat on the stove. Boil for 5 minutes or until the mixture is totally clear. This should make you 3-4 cups of simple syrup.
- Set aside the simple syrup to cool.
- When cool, add the simple syrup to your mixture. The more simple syrup you add, the lower the overall alcohol content you’ll have and the more syrupy your limoncello will be. As you stir the mixture should start to feel more like a liqueur.
- Return the infusion to a cool, dry place for up to 40 days (or for at least 8 days), and repeat the process of gently stirring the mixture about once a week.
- The mixture should look bright yellow, and once everything settles, it should be fairly clear.
- Filter you limoncello using the cheese cloth and a funnel and strain into smaller bottles. Flip-top 80ml clear glass bottles are an excellent size for wedding favors. Just make sure whatever bottle you pick can seal tightly.
- Since it’s homemade, your limoncello should be consumed within about 6 months for the best taste. It will get smoother with age.
- Notes: Depending on how much simple syrup you added, your limoncello will be about 45% alc/vol.
- Serve your limoncello chilled in a small cordial glass, a shooter, or in a lowball glass over ice.
Check out more signature cocktail ideas at TheKnot.com.
Image via MyRecipes.com.