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When Life Gives You Lemons! 🍸🍋
Make Limoncello and Preserved Lemons
Making limoncello is a quick and easy Dabble activity. All you really need are the basics - lemons, vodka, sugar, and a vegetable peeler. Additional kitchen gadgets like cheesecloth, a funnel, a large lidded jar and some nice bottles can make the process easier.
Limoncello is a lemon-flavored liqueur that originated in southern Italy. It is believed to have been first made in the early 1900s by fishermen who mixed alcohol with lemon juice to create a refreshing drink. It is usually made by steeping lemon zest in alcohol (usually vodka or grappa) for several weeks, then adding a simple syrup to sweeten it. The resulting liqueur is usually served chilled and is often used to aid digestion after a meal.
I followed one of the many recipes I found online and started by peeling the yellow parts off of a bunch of lemons, then soaking them in vodka for a week. After my jar of vodka and lemon peels was finished, I had a lot of perfectly good lemons left over and did not want to waste them so decided to dabble in preserving fruit. I found a recipe for preserved lemons (which I had only bought pre-made in the past) online. I started the preparation, which included cutting into each lemon and then layering them tightly, along with lots of kosher salt and some lemon juice, in a mason jar. When I was finished both projects, I had one jar of lemon peels in vodka and one jar of whole lemons and salt. (Note - the recipes I found for preserved lemons did not call for peeled lemons but that is what I had on hand. The results might have been different if I had used unpeeled lemons).
After a week, I took the next steps with the limoncello but honestly, I probably should have let this sit much longer. I poured the contents through a cheesecloth to strain it into a funnel and into bottles. I then added sugar syrup, mixed it, and put the bottles into the freezer to get extra cold.
The preserved lemons had to stay in the refrigerator for much longer but the recipe I had found did require me to rotate the jar every few days. After a month, they were finished.
Would I try these dabbles again? Maybe but I don’t have any plans to since I do not drink much or eat this quantity of preserved lemons. If you normally make homemade/handmade holiday gifts, either of these could be a good (but not last-minute) option.
Have you made limoncello or preserved lemons? If so, I’d love to hear what you do differently or if you have any interesting ways of using either. If these Dabbles gave you an idea for another Dabble to try, I’d love to hear that too!
Penicillin (another cocktail)
Indian Pickling (very close to the procedure for the preserved lemons)
Try making limoncello or something using limoncello or preserved lemons. Here are a few ideas.
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