Homemade Booze: Limoncello & Clemencello

This week I decided to try my hand at making my own limoncello. Which is simple so far, but once I started I was inspired to try making a clemencello, that is a limoncello made from clementines instead of lemons. Basically, limoncello is an adult lemonade. The lemony flavor and bright yellow color come from the citrus oils in the zest of the lemons. You can drink it straight or mix it with something like iced tea for a twist on an Arnold Palmer. By the way, in the above pic, that’s Clemencello-to-be on the left, Limoncello-to-be on the right.

DIY LIMONCELLO

I don’t know for sure yet, but I’m estimating this will make 6-8C of finished product.

Ingredients:

  • the zest of 10 lemons (ended up to be about 1C in total)
  • 750ml vodka (at least 40 proof) I used McCormick brand because #drinklocal
  • 1 1/2C water
  • 2 1/2C granulated sugar

Other stuff you’ll need:

  • a big jar with a lid (needs to hold at least 1qt)
  • a zester or plane
  • coffee filter
  • medium saucepan
  • bottles to put your finished product in

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Zest the lemons. The pith, or white layer of the lemon is bitter so be careful to only grate off the yellow part of the peel.

    Here's a pic of the lemons being zested.

    Here’s a pic of the lemons being zested.

  2. In a large jar combine the zest and vodka.
  3. Cover and put in a cool dark place to infuse for 4 weeks. (I know, it’s a long time to wait.)
  4. Shake jar each day to evenly distribute the flavors.

DIY CLEMENCELLO:

Makes an estimated 6-8C of finished product.

Ingredients:

  • juice of 15 clementines (about 1/4C)
  • 750ml vodka (at least 40 proof)
  • 1 1/2C water
  • 2 1/2 C granulated sugar

Other stuff you’ll need:

  • a big jar with a lid (needs to hold at least 1qt)
  • a zester or plane
  • coffee filters
  • medium saucepan
  • bottles to put your finished product in

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Zest the clementines. The skin of the clementines is thinner and more oily than the lemon zest so less is needed.

    Much less zest came off the clementines but it was much wetter, so I think it will pack a bigger flavor punch!

    Much less zest came off the clementines but it was much wetter, so I think it will pack a bigger flavor punch!

  2. In a large jar combine the zest and vodka.
  3. Cover tightly and put in a cool dark place to infuse for 4 weeks. (I know, it’s a long time to wait.)
  4. Shake jar each day to evenly distribute the flavors.

So now I play the waiting game while the limoncello/ clemencello gets all infused and happy. Stay tuned for chapter 2! Follow the story day-by-day on my Twitter and Instagram!

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