Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I know that eggnog is the traditional holiday drink along with mulled wine or hot cider, but with the rich, heavy meals that often occur during the holidays, I like to go with a bit of limoncello to lighten things up. It’s kind of like having a bit of sorbet to cleanse the palate  with an alcoholic kick. It’s bright, and it brings a bit of sunshine to the end or beginning of a holiday meal. And hey, here in Syracuse, we need all the sunshine you can get during the winter months.

by Diana
adapted from this recipe by Mario Batali

4 cups vodka
Zest of 10 lemons, no pith at all
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups water

Place vodka and zest in a sealable jar (like a canning jar) and let it rest in a cool, dark place for at least 4 days - I prefer to go for two weeks. On the last day of soaking the lemon zest and vodka together, place the sugar and the water in a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to cook 5 minutes, remove from the heat and allow it to cool. Add the sugar solution to the vodka solution and allow to stand overnight. Strain through a layer of cheesecloth in a sieve, pressing the solids firmly. Strain again through a second layer of cheesecloth. Chill and allow to stand for 1 week. Serve it very cold. I like to keep mine in the freezer.

The Limoncello can also be used as an ingredient in many different dishes. A couple of my favorites are to drizzle it over fresh berries topped with crème fraiche or in a vinaigrette over baby greens.

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