Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I've been wanting to try making some kind of a home made liquor ever since I heard about how it's done years ago and since I've wanted to go to Italy for years as well, I decided to make Limoncello: a popular Italian aperitif. Now, I'm all about instant gratification and there are very few things that retain my interest for very long, so when I saw that this will take over 4 months to develop, I was a bit unsure. This very well could have gone the way of my painting projects...dust covered in the closet, forgotten for years, but I decided to give it a try anyways, with the intent of giving little bottles of it for the holidays as gifts. So end of July found me in front of the TV with a giant glass jar on one side, a giant bowl filled with about 3 dozen of the prettiest lemons I could find, three party sized bottles of vodka, and a tiny little peeler. Have you ever tried to peel a dozen lemons, especially while trying not to get any of the white pith? How about three dozen? Let me tell you, the excitement lasted me to lemon #10...after that my hand started to hurt and the morale began to slip. By lemon 30 I was ready to chuck them all out the window...but my hands were numb. In the end though I was left with a wonderfully fragrant jar of very potent vodka that was already starting to pick up on the lovely yellow color of the lemons and the waiting has begun.
I faithfully shook up the jar every day for the first week, then I slipped down to once every couple of days, then once a week and finally it was forgotten on the table only being acknowledged once by the guests at my Halloween party where it played the part of a mysterious lab experiment. When the time came around to "feed the beast" with simple syrup it was Thanksgiving, so I missed that deadline and after that I had trouble coaxing anything out of my stock pot that didn't smell of turkey, so I fell behind schedule by about a month. Then the holidays came and in the cookie baking frenzy the Limoncello was completely abandoned right up to last night when I unburried it from the clutter on my table and decided that the time has come to find out what 6 months have resulted in. I bought half-sized bottles and corks from a wine supply store back when I first thought of starting this project, so I pulled them out and prepped them, filtered out the concoction and bottled it. I made quick labels for the bottles so that people know what's inside and lined them up for sharing later. I would have done more in terms of decoration, but it was past 1am at this point, so I figured this was good enough.
All in all I ended up with over a dozen bottles. It may have been more than that, but I kept tasting it as I was ladling it into the filter cone. I have to know what I'm giving people, right? Right. Needless to say, I slept very well that night :)