Let’s turn those wintry frowns upside down with a little homemade lavender limoncello! Here is a simple recipe that anyone can make at home when the lemons are perfectly ripe. A perfect gift to have made for brighter days of Spring ahead! A perfect Spring Tonic!
Limoncello, is one of the best things from Southern Italy. In the Sorrento area, limoncello is for sale on every corner. This recipe builds on the very tart traditional beverage and adds a beautiful herbal finish of lavender.
Here’s the recipe!
10 ripe lemons (Meyer, Eureka or other commonly available lemons)
1 (750-ml) bottle good quality vodka
750 ml water (save the vodka bottle to measure)
2-1/2 cups white sugar
3 Tbsp Lavender buds
- Begin by rinsing the lemons in warm water, even if they are organic.
- You can use either a vegetable peeler or zester. If using a peeler, strip the peel from the lemons in long, broad strips. Using a small sharp paring knife, scrape away the white pith from the back of the lemon peels, and discard. If using a microplane, just keep the zest. You can juice the lemons for other uses. (Lemon juice can be frozen!)
- Place the lemon zest/peels in a 2-quart glass container. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for between one week and one month at room temperature in a dark, cool space. The mulled lemon vodka will take on a beautiful straw yellow color.
- After the mulling time, stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Don’t boil.
- Remove from heat and add the lavender buds. Steep for at least 20 minutes until completely cool. Strain out the buds, retaining the syrup.
- Mix the lavender sugar syrup with the lemon-vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature for another two to seven days.
- Strain the limoncello through a fine strainer. Discard the peels and any bits of lemon.
- Transfer the limoncello into 250 ml bottles. Cork the bottles and refrigerate until cold.
- Unopened, the limoncello will last in the refrigerator up to 6 months.