Limoncello (Lemoncello) the Italian way

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Making up another batch. Been awhile. One thing I'm thinking about this time is to add some lemon juice. Say maybe the juice of 1 or two small lemons to an entire batch. Anyone else doing this?

I have a frozen lemoncello desert recipe that I plan on posting. My sister in law has made is several times and it's incredibly good. Going to make some myself from this batch.

Pennsylvania has changed their stance on grain alcohol just a little. You can get Everclear now in PA state stores. But after checking this week found you can only get it in the small bottles (750ml) and it's 150 not the 195. They don't carry the larger 1L and 1.75L bottles. Those you still have to order and fill out a lot of personal information. They really want you to be a teacher or scientist using it for lab purposes. Ridiculous IMHO.

So I ran down to Total Wine in Delaware as usual to pick up a couple litres.

Thinking of trying some lime cello. Using the typical green limes from Whole Foods is the consensus that I would need about 20?
 
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r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Spent several weeks in Italy last year. The cello I liked most while I was there was the "house made" that they all seemed to have. A couple places we went for dinner which were smaller kind of local places asked you if you wanted some at the end of the meal and it was gratis.
 

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Finished 'cello has been sitting in the cool spot for several weeks now. Will probably give some of the dessert a try this week or next. Once I dig out the recipe I'll notify here but post it in the recipe section.
 

David DeVivo

TVWBB Fan
need a little help with grapefruit cello. Made limoncello 12-2013 and rave,, rave from the spouse, relatives, neighbors. Now need a grapefruit recipe to match up with the lemon approach and don't know how to go. Here is my lemon version : 1L EC 190, 1.5L H2O, 11 lemons microplaned, 4 cups white granulated sugar. ...a perfect balance for us. Anyone with a best/experienced guess to match up using ruby red grapefruit, oh, please . With baited breath...Dave
 

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Hey Dave if you take some time to review up thread you will find a lot of info on GF Cello. I realize it's a long read but it's there. Just in case no one responds. I've only made lemon so can't help. I should post some photos from my last batch a few months ago...
 

David DeVivo

TVWBB Fan
Hi, RB...boy, went through every page, but cannot find enough specificity to think I will match up well enough with my lemon version. Maybe I missed something, but the thread ids long, oye. I'll keep an eye out ....maybe I'll get lucky. My limoncello came out with a very nice balance between the sweet, the EC 190 level, and lemon component. Really hope I can do the same with the Ruby Red. Thanks.
 

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
I think you should find a good judge on the amount of rind? Which is key IMHO. After that you mix sugar/water to taste. That's what I have been doing with my lemon style and my last batch was the best in terms of clarity, flavor, etc.

I'll look through the pages as well. But bottom line is to stand down on the sugar (for clarity I stopped using raw or organic sugar as they turn things brown). Stay with castor sugar (you know the extra fine sugar, bartender sugar, etc). Drop back on the sugar in the original recipe by half, then as you are mixing up to taste you can add castor/extra fine as it melts really fast and doesn't have the fillers that turn things cloudy.

So basically the most important part as you experiment is to find a good base reference AFA the amount of rind to add to a liter of Grain Alcohol.

After that use the full recipe amount of water.

Then add more sugar/water to taste, preference.

If you want send me a PM, we can talk live if you want.

I don't know if Kevin Kruger watches this thread but he would be the man AFA adjusting, etc. But I think I can help if you want to work offline through email/phone.

You should find though up thread a reference to the amount of GF rind to use - that's the key for the extraction as you work to best recipe. You create a "Mother Recipe" from there.

The extraction is the most important part of this IMHO regardless of fruit (media). And using straight up grain alcohol will give you the best reference as you experiment, rather than working with
vodka as that has other flavors, more water, etc so not great as a reference. Not knocking vodka as an extraction agent, but grain is the best if you are trying to create other recipes, etc.





Ray
 
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Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Ray, there are "bots" that scour forums for email addresses such as you posted above. Notice any increase in your spam after posting your addy?

Instead do it this way:

rbenash at verizon dot net.

Save yourself future headaches.
 

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Nope, no increase. I know about "bots" search rbenash/ Ray Benash on the us patent site. I invented the internet :)

They used to be called "web crawlers" in the old days but perhaps I show my age.

Thanks for looking out for me and your advice should be taken wisely.
 
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Dwain Pannell

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I think you should find a good judge on the amount of rind? Which is key IMHO. After that you mix sugar/water to taste. That's what I have been doing with my lemon style and my last batch was the best in terms of clarity, flavor, etc.

I'll look through the pages as well. But bottom line is to stand down on the sugar (for clarity I stopped using raw or organic sugar as they turn things brown). Stay with castor sugar (you know the extra fine sugar, bartender sugar, etc). Drop back on the sugar in the original recipe by half, then as you are mixing up to taste you can add castor/extra fine as it melts really fast and doesn't have the fillers that turn things cloudy.

So basically the most important part as you experiment is to find a good base reference AFA the amount of rind to add to a liter of Grain Alcohol.

After that use the full recipe amount of water.

Then add more sugar/water to taste, preference.

If you want send me a PM, we can talk live if you want.

Here's my personal email - rbenash@verizon.net

I don't know if Kevin Kruger watches this thread but he would be the man AFA adjusting, etc. But I think I can help if you want to work offline through email/phone.

You should find though up thread a reference to the amount of GF rind to use - that's the key for the extraction as you work to best recipe. You create a "Mother Recipe" from there.

The extraction is the most important part of this IMHO regardless of fruit (media). And using straight up grain alcohol will give you the best reference as you experiment, rather than working with
vodka as that has other flavors, more water, etc so not great as a reference. Not knocking vodka as an extraction agent, but grain is the best if you are trying to create other recipes, etc.





Ray
Ray, any chance you could document the steps with photos and descriptions or a video demonstration? I'm interested in making lemoncello but not confident by reading the instructions here.
 
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r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Might be able to do a subset of all that as I'm not retired and have a day job and other interests beyond lemoncello :)

Let me find some time, reflect back and get back to this post in a couple days. The effort is worth it. Not promising any videos or photo step throughs as that all pretty much addressed up thread. This is not rocket science. The extraction with grain alcohol is key and then you work with water/sugar ratio to taste from there regardless of which fruit/rind you use. You start with mother recipe from the first post.

Ray
 

Dwain Pannell

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Might be able to do a subset of all that as I'm not retired and have a day job and other interests beyond lemoncello :)

Let me find some time, reflect back and get back to this post in a couple days. The effort is worth it. Not promising any videos or photo step throughs as that all pretty much addressed up thread. This is not rocket science. The extraction with grain alcohol is key and then you work with water/sugar ratio to taste from there regardless of which fruit/rind you use. You start with mother recipe from the first post.

Ray
Thanks. OBE now. I found a tutorial on another site.
 

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Hey sorry, still planning to follow up. Lots of personal life stuff last week, business travel, family stuff, had to get my '65 FLH restoration judged at the only local AMCA meet for the year over the weekend, etc.

Really will follow up regardless. I thought I would still be able to post out on business travel but things got compicated so needed to focus even after hours on work.
 

Dwain Pannell

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Hey sorry, still planning to follow up. Lots of personal life stuff last week, business travel, family stuff, had to get my '65 FLH restoration judged at the only local AMCA meet for the year over the weekend, etc.

Really will follow up regardless. I thought I would still be able to post out on business travel but things got compicated so needed to focus even after hours on work.
Not a problem. I understand completely. BTW ...I love the old Pan Heads!
 

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Here's my steps for perfect lemoncello after 4-5 attempts through this thread. I thought all of them came out good. Last two IMHO came out great.

1. For simplicity I start with 1 litre of 95% grain alcohol, I don't use vodka or the weaker grain alcohol as you would need to adjust for water content and other oils, flavors in the vodka. I am aiming for consistency, not slamming vodka!

2. I have found that the best method for removing rind without having to get all worried, excited about pulling of the white pith is to use an OXO or equivalent lemon zester, not a knife, or microplane as the zester has a sort of "auto" depth control to it. You can zest quickly and not have to worry much about going too deep. Personal preference for sure but it's been key IMHO

3. Zest from 12 lemons seems best to me. Maybe 14 if they are really small, but not critical.

4. I only extract for 5 days or until the zest turns white - Kevin Krugers upstream conversation holds true for me in practice. I.E. - no need to let the extraction work for any longer than after the zest turns white. I take a kitchen linen, place it over a strainer sitting on top of a bowl, then just dump the zest/alcohol into the linen/strainer, let it run through then pick up the 4 corners of the linen and just twist until the rest of the liquid drops out.

5. I use castor or regular white sugar. I don't use natural/organic as it turns the cello brown which I don't prefer. Regular sugar adds more cloudiness as it has filler to keep sugar from sticking together in the bag. Regular sugar will look clear in the simple sugar when you melt it, but gets cloudier than castor sugar when added to the alcohol. Castor or extra fine does not have that filler that regualr white sugar has. Organic cane sugar is great for flavor but the brownish color and cloudiness I don't like so much so it's a good trade off for me. So you end up with a brighter straight up yellow translucence. I.E. - I prefer castor sugar. Also as I start with a lower amount of sugar thatnin the recipe and "taste up" you can add castor while adjusting at the end and it melts quickly. It's basically an instant sugar used by bartenders and bakers so that drinks don't get cloudy and by bakers as it melts/blends faster than regular sugar.

6. I start with 2Lb simple sugar (sometimes less) with the full amount of water (3pints) in the original recipe up thread when I heat the water and sugar to make the simple syrup.

7. I mix the simple sugar with the flavored/strained alchohol, then taste up adding water first until I get the "bite" to taste with the grain alcohol. Then I add more sugar to taste. This method works perfectly for me and is easily repeatable. Next time I will mark down the adjustments but really this is how to allow for the differences in the strength of the lemon zest you used. By starting with a lower amount of sugar and adding water you allow yourself to balance up at the end hitting your best flavor notes.

So I pour 1 litre of the full strength grain alcohol into a jar, dump in zest from 12-14 lemons depending on size. Wait for a week (5-7 days). Strain into a SS pot. I Make the simple sugar from 2lb castor and 3 pints water, dump them together into the SS pot. Taste, too much grain bite? add water. Then I add sugar to get it just right. I don't like overly sweet cello, and I also don't like the grain to over power everything.

Looking up thread the count of grapefruit rind mentioned is 7-8 if Ruby Reds, 8-9 regular/yellow. See response number #87. If I was going to work with GF or any other fruit I would do the same thing. Back off at least a 1/2 lb of sugar from the start basically. Add more sugar to taste after you get the amount of water to alcohol to the balance that you like. Stay with full 95% grain for consistency, add remaining even more sugar than the recipe to taste as required. For clarity and ease of adjustment/adding sugar later use castor.

I do find that letting it rest for a month does definitely mellow it out, at least to me. It's really hard for me after that month to walk by these bottles in the basement without taking a sip :)

I have posted a frozen lemoncello desert in the recipe section that is exceptional whether you make your own cello or not. Try it.

I am going to experiment within the next few months or so with a Lemoncello Tiramisu.

There is also a response up thread where someone listed/compile pretty much all of the different types fruit and quantities folks were using for different types/flavors of "cello". Do a thread search and they are easier to get to.

Here's a photo of my last/best batch:



Here's the photo of my last batch
 
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