Saturday, February 15, 2014


Lemons are one of my favorite fruits.  I love cakes, cookies, candies and lemon pie.  I guess you can call me a Lemon or even citrus fanatic.  There is nothing like the fresh burst of citrus in everything that takes me to the feeling of Spring or Summer. When I look at the majority of things I cook and bake, most things contain some part of a lemon, whether it's juiced, peeled or zested. Today I am using just the peel but I'll save my fruit for a pie or juice later down the road.
Lemoncello is an Italian after dinner drink. My variation of this traditional yummy drink will be a Vanilla Lemoncello.

You can use Lemoncello in Frosting for cake or cupcakes or drizzle over pound cake too.

Vanilla Lemoncello

3 cups Vanilla Vodka
Zest of 8 lemons
3/4 cup simple syrup (or boil down 1 c water and 3/4 c sugar until just slightly thicker than water, it should yield about 3/4c.)

First zest freshly cleaned lemons. I  used organic Meyer lemons. (The first time I made this I cut the peels instead of zesting however too much of the white flesh of the orange peel can be bitter tasting.) This time I wanted a smoother taste. I zested the lemon peel and put all of it into a glass container with lid. I added the vodka and put it into a nice dark area for 4 days. If you have patience, the longer it rests, the better the taste, but I like mine just fine on the fourth day. On the fourth day, use a paper coffee strainer or a fine mesh sieve and strain all the peel out. You want a nice clear look so strain again if necessary. Add the approx 3/4c of simple syrup. At this point, refrigerate over night.  Yep, that's it. Pretty simple isn't it.
I freeze shot glasses and serve the lemoncello this way but I rim the glass with sugar first.
Once I left the lemoncello in my refrigerator for 8 months and it was so smooth and delicious that I'm tempted to only try a little shot glass full and the rest can...well rest in the fridge awhile, a long while.

And just to mix it up, I'm going to make a blood orangecello and grapefruitcello too.

For these recipes, use regular or vanilla vodka, zest from 3 grapefruits or 8 blood oranges. Make the same as above.

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