posts may contain Amazon affiliate links, which earn me a small commission when you buy (but doesn't cost you anything extra). Occasionally I receive free products and/or run sponsored posts—this will always be stated clearly in the post. Thank you for supporting this blog.

This website contains some quotations, excerpts, and screen clips from copyrighted material. These uses fall well within the copyright doctrine of "Fair Use".
Sunday, March 31, 2013

Homemade Arancello and Limoncello

DIY Arancello and Limoncello
I'm not gonna deny it.  When somebody (myself included) mentions Limoncello, my mind wanders to Positano.  I long to sip a chilled glass of the sweet, yet tangy yellow liqueur under the shade of an umbrella staring out at the stunning Amalfi coast.  While gazing into deep eyes of one dreamy Marcello.  (Figuratively, of course.  I am a married woman, afterall.)
Positano photo by Wikipedia user Jensens used under condition of Public Domain.
But until I can get myself to Positano, making Limoncello at home will have to suffice.  Fortunately, the past couple days have actually been sunny, warm (comparatively), and completely Spring-like.  If I make sure to sit in the sun (no umbrella), and if I close my eyes and concentrate really hard, I can conjur up my own little personal Positano.

Lately, I've been in a real boozin' & infusin' and liqueur-makin' mood!  And in anticipation of an exciting giveaway coming up at the end of this week (seriously, come back Friday), I have tons of jars in all different sizes tucked into cupboards and dark spots in the house.  They're filled liquor and things like citrus zest, spices, herbs, coffee, ginger, vanilla, and all sorts of other bits and bobs that are going to make them taste fantastic!
zesting lemons and oranges for DIY Arancello and Limoncello
This lemon-based obsession of mine and its look-alike orange-based cousin were my first two batches to be bottled.  (Okay, that's if you don't include Irish Cream...since there's no infusing time involved, it's almost in a class of its own.)  Three weeks swimming in vodka sucked all of the oils, and in turn the flavor from the zest of the citrus fruits.  All that you need to do is add about an equal amount of simple syrup to the strained liquor to turn it into magic.  Liquid magic.

No really, this stuff is strong.  After one glass, you won't be able to argue the whole "magic" thing.

{DIY} Arancello and Limoncello
Homemade Arancello and Limoncello
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 2-4 weeks
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: beverage alcohol lemons oranges vodka Italian

Ingredients (~1500 ml / ~51 fluid ounces)
  • 8 oranges (for Arancello) or 8 lemons (for Limoncello)
  • 750 ml vodka (80 proof / 40% alcohol)
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. water
Rinse and scrub your oranges or lemons and pat them dry using paper towels or clean kitchen towels. Remove the peel from the fruit, leaving all of the inner white part (pith) behind (this will make your liqueur bitter). You can use a vegetable peeler (fat strips) or a 4-hole citrus zester (thin strips) to do this.

Put the peel into a jar that is large enough to hold all of the vodka, and then pour the vodka over the peel. Seal tightly and set in a cool dark place to infuse for 3-4 weeks; turn and gently shake the jars every few days if you think about it.

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil for 1 minute, until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool completely.

Strain the vodka and combine it with the simple syrup, stir well. If you don't have a large enough container to do this all at once, use a large measuring cup, adding equal parts vodka and simple syrup. Use a funnel to transfer to sterilized glass bottles in your choice of size and shape.
straining Limoncello
You do not need to refrigerate the Arancello or Limoncello, but it should be served icy cold, so put a bottle into the fridge at least a day before you want to serve it (or serve over ice).

I made a batch of Arancello and a batch of Limoncello at the same time. I was hoping that the Arancello would have an orange tint, but sadly, both liqueurs turned out the same color. Be sure to label your jars so you don't mix them up.

Arancello/Limoncello will keep, in a cool, dark spot for at least one year.
DIY Arancello and Limoncello