|Mine came out a little darker, because I used organic can sugar for the sugar syrup.|
Such a romantic (if not a little corny) part of the movie, but for me I always remembered how yummy that drink sounded. Fast forward a bit to my obsession with Giada De Laurentis, and there it is, in her book, Everyday Italian, she has the recipe for Capri's, the region of Italy that is known for Limoncello, and the recipe for making the key ingredient, Limoncello, from scratch. These days, Limoncello can be easily found at grocery stores such as Trader Joe's & Bev Mo, but making it from scratch is really the way to go. Patience is key.
Giada's recipe only calls for letting the lemon peels steep in the vodka for about 5 days, but the longer you let it sit, the better. I have seen recipes that call for a total of 90 days of wait. Now, I'm sure it turns out amazing, but 3 months? I don't know if I can be that patient...maybe one day I will actually try to wait that long. I have also seen reference to a "scum" forming in the bottle, and the need to filter the mixture when it is done, through coffee filters. Maybe because Giada's recipe only suggests it sit for 5 days, this film does not develop yet, hence, I found no need to filter it.
I believe the key to this recipe turning out right though, is making sure you remove all the pith from the lemon peels. That is the white part that is left on the peel after you peel it from lemon. The pith, if left on, will make the drink bitter, which will ruin the overall flavor. My 15 year-old daughter and I sat at the kitchen table, each with a paring knife in hand, and peeled all the white part off, it took some time, but went faster with both of us doing it.
Remember to juice your lemons after you peel them and save the juice to make Capri's, a wonderful, light cocktail perfect for a summer evening. I don't worry about measuring, I just add a bit of juice, Limoncello, & Sparkling water, preferrably San Pellegrino brand.
I have been very happy with this recipe, although I know diehards will say it needs to sit much longer.
|Ingredients to make a Capri!|
- 10 lemons
- 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
Makes 7 cups
Using a vegetable peeler remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.
* Note- I left some of the peels in the limoncello after I transferred it to a bottle, I figured it couldn't hurt it, and would probably make it even more flavorful.
So, if you want a killer lemony liquer, head to the store, or your backyard if you are lucky enough to have a lemon tree, and whip up a batch, or two, of this yummy elixer!