12.02.2009

Holiday Gift Idea - Loving Limoncello

A trip to IKEA inspired one of my hand made Christmas gifts this year. Actually, I've had this idea on the back burner for a few years, but never started it soon enough for Christmas.

After a friend offered sips of Limoncello brought home from her trip to Italy a few years ago, I was hooked. I wanted that sweet lemony goodness, the beautiful golden rinds floating in the rustic bottle. I wanted to make Limoncello!

Gather your ingredients:

20 large lemons
1 large bottle of 100 vodka (a "handle" I think it's 1/2 gallon)
1 half gallon of simple syrup


Using a potato peeler, peel just the skin (no white) from the lemons. Add the skins to any large, lidded jar (I used my summertime Sangria jar, but an old olive jar or even several canning jars would work).

Pour in the vodka and let sit for at least 3 weeks (I soaked mine for 6 weeks). You will see the alcohol take on the rich, yellow color of the lemons over time.

After 3 weeks (or as long as you choose), make the simple syrup:

9 cups water
9 cups of sugar

Bring to a boil and reduce until syrupy.

Add the room temperature syrup to the alcohol and let sit for another week. Pour into bottles or jars and store in the freezer.

I'm using these IKEA hinged bottles. They are rustic looking, just the right size, and just the right price ($2.99!)



To give away as gifts, I will be wrapping the bottle with burlap and twine, and tucking in some greens for a simple presentation.



Go on, girl! Let's hit up the liquor store! You have time to make yours if you begin today!

Don't forget that your opportunity to link up your own Hand Made Christmas Gift Ideas will be on Friday. Right here for a linky party!

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17 comments :

  1. A beautiful gift! Vodka would put me right to sleep, but I'm such a wimp, even the smell of an alcoholic beverage would!

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  2. Jennifer, by large bottle do you mean the big, big (like, gallon-sized) bottle? I'm making cranberry-infused vodka today so I think I'll do this, too!

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  3. Stopping by from SITS roll call! What an awesome idea for gifts this holiday season!

    My husband is Italian and a huge part of the holiday season is sipping limoncello.

    I am definately going to try this!

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  4. This is an awesome idea!!! LOVE IT!! We will all be standing in line for our Vodka holding a bag of lemons!! I'm game!!

    Thank you for visiting my blog, it led me to yours! I'm a follower!

    Have a great week!

    Lou Cinda :)

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  5. i started doing this two years ago and i have people asking me for refills all the time. you should also try the amaretto version, which is VERY tasty and VERY easy.
    a lot of people prefer this over the limoncello.

    http://patty.vox.com/library/post/homemade-limoncello-when-life-gives-you-lemons.html

    that link is to the lady that i got the recipe from and there are three years of comments on there if you need any help or have any questions from a veteran nosh maker ;)

    here is the recipe for the amaretto:

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Ingredients:
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups water
    2 cups vodka
    2 cups brandy
    4 tsp almond extract (not flavoring)
    Preparation:
    In a heavy saucepan, bring sugar and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to make a simple syrup. Cool to room temperature.

    Add the vodka, brandy, and almond extract to the cooled syrup. Stir to combine. Pour into stoppered bottles and let your homemade amaretto age at least 1 month.

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  6. Oh the pressure! We are doing a handmade Christmas, and I have my fabrics, but now I need to get my tukus in gear and get at least ONE done before Friday?? Gaw!

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  7. Your homemade Limoncello gifts look absolutely fabulous. Have noted recipe for future use!

    Stopping by from SITS to say hello!

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  8. I read another vodka make it yourself gift a little bit ago. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my blog yesteray/today? they all run together, sorry.

    Just thought I'd return the favor!

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  9. THANK YOU, JEN!! I was looking for ideas for Christians side of the family and this is perfect AND fun! You've just saved my Christmas! Ha-ha!!!

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  10. Yet ANOTHER thing I want to make! You've got to stop, you're giving me way too many ideas!!!!!! Ha! :)

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  11. That is such a delightful gift. I loooooooove limoncello!

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  12. Love this. I want to be your friend so I can get a pretty bottle :). Or I guess I can just make some myself. Fantastic idea. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  13. My SIL and I got hooked on Limoncello this summer.......we loooooove it! hmmmmm....I may have to try this....

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  14. I'm on my way to IKEA today...hmmmm! LOVE limoncello! Can't wait to try making it...actually, I can't wait to be seen in our small community buying a Gallon of Vodka...oh the talk that will go on with that one!

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  15. Jen - I ended up going out and getting all the stuff to make the limoncello on the day you posted this. I think my thumb still hurts a little from peeling all of those lemons! I really cannot wait to sample the end result! I also made some cranberry-orange infused vodka the same day (foodnetwork recipe). Thanks for posting this - - it is going to make wonderful Christmas gifts!

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