Limoncello is my favorite of the liqueurs– tart, sweet and refreshing. Plus, it reminds me of traveling through Italy and lounging on the Amalfi coast amongst the lemon trees. Made from lemons, alcohol and sugar, this liqueur often takes over three months to create.
Limoncello has a controversial, rich history. The original recipe of limoncello bends through a series of anecdotes and legends, competed by the Sorrentini, Amalfitani and Capresi. These three Italian populations boast of a production of limoncello passed on by various generations (Source: Sorrento Info).
Although the origins of limoncello are controversial and we aren’t sure which population created the first batch, one thing we can all agree on is that this Italian liqueur is absolutely delicious. It’s definitely a ray of sunshine and the perfect pick-me-up on a cold winter day. So, how can you create this delightful beverage at home? All you need is time, a lot of lemons (we’re talking like 40) and tons of sugar. Yikes! I don’t want to zest 40 lemons either. Luckily, I’m here to bring you good news. The fine folks of Industry City Distillery have shared their 20 minute limoncello recipe with Swig. You heard us, 20 minutes is all it takes, and you only need about one lemon.
Industry City Distillery is an experimental distillery located in Brooklyn, New York. The distillery is pursuing better craft spirits through science, and produces their Industry Standard Vodka using beet sugar as well as their newest product, Technical Reserve. Industry City Distillery created Technical Reserve specifically for the needs of the creative cocktail connoisseur. Distilled to 95.6% ABV (the highest possible), Technical Reserve is exceptionally high proof and the neutral character allows you to create limoncello at home.
20 Minute Limoncello
10-12 grams (1-1.5 lemons) lemon zest
150ml Technical Reserve
60 grams sugar
Zest your lemons with a zester or microplane and place zest in a glass jar. Pour 100ml of Technical Reserve on the zest and stir or shake as much as possible while it soaks. Do not soak for more than 60 minutes for the best tasting limoncello.
Pour off the bright yellow liquid into another glass jar without losing the zest (a tea strainer is perfect). Pour another 25ml of Technical Reserve into the original zest jar and stir a bit. Pour off and repeat with the final 25ml of Technical Reserve.
Pour 75ml of water into the zest jar and then immediately pour that into your second jar with the bright yellow Technical Reserve. Discard your used up zest. Pour 60 grams of sugar into the second jar and shake or stir until all of the sugar dissolves. This makes about 250ml (8oz) of limoncello. Bottle and enjoy!
Photographs from Industry City Distillery