As you may know, I have hosted a dinner as a fundraiser for the local high school’s Nordic Ski Team. In preparation for this year’s dinner, I decided to make limoncello, but with limes instead of lemons. There are many recipes and theories on the best way to do this, and varying “brew” times, but I decided to start with this recipe, since it didn’t require a month of advance planning. As it turns out, my lime mixture brewed for two weeks, due to a family wedding out of town. It’s easy enough to make, assuming that Everclear is available legally in your state. I have to admit, it did require I take two or three trips around the local liquor store before I could find it amongst the many kinds of vodka. If you can’t find Everclear, you could use vodka instead, but you may not get the characteristic “kick” in your end result. This kind of cordial is served very cold, after dinner, and is very sweet. Sip slowly and carefully!
- Microplane grater/zester
- large (at least 1 liter) glass jar with lid, clean and dry.
- bowl or wax paper for collecting zest
- large saucepan
- liquid and dry measuring cups
- very fine mesh strainer, or line a regular strainer with muslin or a coffee filter
- large bowl to hold strained liquid
- 3 750ml bottles, clean, for storing results
- 10 limes, washed (scrub vigorously!)
- 1 liter Everclear (grain alcohol)
- 6.5 cups sugar
- 6.5 cups water
7 or 8 days before you want to serve your limettecello:
- Wash your limes thoroughly. You’re only using the zest for this recipe, so make sure you scrub them to remove any dirt, wax, etc. that might be on the outside of your limes. Dry them, too.
- Grate the zest from the limes with the Microplane grater, making sure only to get the outer rind, not the white pith. Collect all the zest (I like to put down a sheet of wax paper, to collect any flying zest. Makes getting it all into the jar at the end easier, too.).
- Put the zest into your jar. Pour in the Everclear. Put the lid on the jar, and let it sit, at room temperature, for a week. Keep the jar out of the sun.
- (optional) – juice your limes, and make limeade.
After at least 7 days:
- Strain the liquid to remove the zest. Strain it a couple times, if needed.
- Put the water and sugar in the large saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring as needed, to dissolve the sugar. Let the resulting simple syrup cool.
- Combine the cooled syrup and strained lime/alcohol. Pour into clean glass jars. Put one of them into your freezer, to get the limettecello very cold before serving.
- Serve in small shot glasses, right out of the freezer. This is great after dinner, or with dessert.