A reputation. I have one.
My friends and family know that I have a love affair with cocktails. Delightful, wonderful cocktails. I am a believer that cocktails are not meant to be chugged, but instead sipped, enjoyed, savored.
I also love taking booze and infusing flavors into it – flavors that I love: vanilla, strawberries, cherries, you name it. I also love giving presents. So, for Christmas this year, I decided to give friends Limoncello.
The basic recipe I followed was from Martha Stewart – except, seriously, trying to find high proof vodka in Washington is freaking ridiculous. I was lucky to find a 100 proof vodka in the liquor store period! (liquor stores… bah! I miss going into MOST stores in CA and getting whatever booze I wanted, when ever I wanted!!!)
I did buy the the 100-proof vodka to use in the recipe but I also got a bottle of Everclear to use too. Now I know, Everclear. The stuff that uh, people drink while warming their hands over a fire barrel. The label actually says don’t drink too much of it because it will mess up yer innards. I thought well, it’s high-proof and a grain alcohol… let’s try it.
(And actually, I think the Everclear worked out better! But I will get to that part in a sec…)
So how easy is this recipe? It’s basically lemons, booze, a jar, simple syrup and time. I started making the booze right after Thanksgiving, so then I had plenty of time to let the booze rest, get everything bottled and hand them out in early December.
I bought myself 22 organic lemons, collected as much of the peel as possible (NO PITH! That horrible white stuff is what will cause your infusion to go bitter!), and added them to jars; one jar with a full bottle of vodka and one jar with a full bottle of Everclear.
Here is what the infusion looked like right at the start: (The booze just changes color SO FAST. It’s incredible!)
So why did I want to devote an entire post to this process? Because the world needs to see the difference between the booze types, that way when YOU make YOUR limoncello, you can decide which booze route you want to go…
Both the jars looked so similar but the minute I added the simple syrup, the entire consistency changed: Look!
The Everclear Limoncello (on the left) was almost… creamy? The color was so much richer and prettier and well, it tasted, in my opinion, much more delightful than the vodka version. (Ryan dug the vodka better, but whatever. We all know *I* am right. 😉 )
And just for comparison sake, here are both the vodka (on the right) and Everclear (on the left) Limoncellos side by side:
Although, once the vodka Limoncello sat and mellowed in its gift bottle a bit, it did look creamier, like the Everclear version:
Doesn’t it look tasty? In fact, the Limoncello was such a hit, I ended up making creamy Limoncello too. But that’s a whole other post for later…