11/22/2010

Limoncello, armadillo!

Everything tastes better when it's homemade.

I recently learned how to make my own limoncello.  I was delighted to learn one can make his own liqueur.  I figured you had to be a gnome or a hunchback Italian guy exiled to Sicily.  Ooh, you know who else might make a good liqueur?  Uncle Jessie of Dukes of Hazzard fame.  He already distills moonshine of county-wide repute.  Were Daisy inclined to zest some lemons and the Duke boys could stop humping each other long enough to bottle and market the concoction, Hazzard County would boast the finest Limoncello in the world.  That little dago Danny Devito had better watch his back.

Making limoncello is that easy, folks.  Let me walk you through the recipe.  You begin with grain alcohol.  I don't know how to make that.  I think God Himself takes a chunk of stupid and wrings it into a bottle.  Luckily you can buy it at your local liquor store.  Avoid stepping in the consolidated vomit pits on your way in, and keep some spare change handy for the local vagrant loitering the anteroom, lest he become a nuisance.  Locate the grain alcohol section and pick your poison.  I stick with Everclear because a sip of it is like a mule kick to your brain.  It's flavorless.  It's cheap.  And it doubles as floor stripper if you're in a pinch.  Any grain alcohol will do.  Vodka, which by definition is flavorless, will also do.  But it lacks the punch of grain alcohols.  So if you're a girl or a homosexual, vodka may be your choice.  Man the fuck up and buy Everclear, already.

Now you need some lemons.  Bear in mind that you'll be zesting the lemons to impart a lemon flavor into the grain alcohol.  So select those lemons with a thick, electric-yellow rind.  You'll likely find the best lemons at those hippie, whole-foods stores.  Buy 10 to 12 lemons.  Rinse them and zest them.  I bought a zesting tool at my liquor store and it works like gang-busters.  Some of you may be tempted to peel the lemons and that's fine.  But remember that if you add pith to the alcohol, the final product will be bitter and undrinkable.  You want the yellow zest from the lemon's rind -- not the white pith just beneath it.  Don't learn the hard way.

You can add the lemon zest to the bottle of alcohol.  That's what I do.  Or you can add the alcohol and zest into a jug.  Just as you please.  But zest those lemons right, soldier: all zest, no pith.  Roger, dodger.  Now I have some bad news.  You have to wait 3 weeks for the mixture to steep.  I know.  Waiting sucks.  If we liked waiting, we'd date Catholic girls.  Am I right?  But with limoncello, you don't have a choice.  You have to wait for the lemon oil to diffuse into the liquor, and that takes time.  Store your bottle in a cool, dry place and fight the cravings for 21 days.

You're almost there!  After you've steeped the liquor, you make simple syrup.  Relax.  You don't have to hike into the woods and tap a fir tree, Grizzly Adams.  All you have to do is boil a cup of water and add an equal volume of granulated sugar.  Mix until the sugar dissolves into the water.  Allow the fluid to cool to room temperature.  Strain the grain alcohol into a container (a mason jar works; so does an empty liquor bottle, and don't pretend you don't have one handy, you lushes!).  You can use a coffee filter to strain the zest from the alcohol.  Then combine equal parts of the lemony liquor with your (cooled!) simple syrup.  Put the concoction into the freezer (it won't freeze due to the alcohol content).  After it reaches freezing temperature, pour a few ounces into a snifter and enjoy.  Make sure you have bail money handy!  Are you ready to blast off, cosmonaut?  3-2-1, ignition!  We're in flavor country now, bitches.  

You can enjoy it straight or add it to cranberry juice, Mountain Dew, seltzer or lemonade.  The possibilities are endless.  Sip it after dinner or on the porch in the evening.  Bring a flask to work and take a nip on your restroom breaks.  Drink it straight while watching Monday Night Football or reality TV programming.  Keep it at the ready during the holidays and bottle it for gifts to those you love.  When you give limoncello, you give love.  And yes, if you must know, I'm drinking some right now.

As long as I'm cocked off my ass on limoncello, I should tell you all that I'm thrilled to be blogging again, and to have such a charming readership, and to have all these fresh, vibrant blogs a mouse-click away.  Know this:  If I'm reading you, it's because I love your writing.  Enjoy your limoncello in good health and with those you love.  And know that while I'm drinking mine, I'll be thinking of you all (and surfing homemade porn.  Remember, if it's homemade, it's better!).

Later in the week I'll repost my annual Thanksgiving Day essay.  I hope you enjoy it.  And should I miss the chance to tell you, Happy Thanksgiving!

16 comments:

Dawn said...

THIS was hysterical. "God Wringing Stupid into a bottle" made me laugh out loud.

I am going to make (or insist) that my husband make limoncello. It sounds delicious.

Can I make a suggestion? Can you add your email address to your blog so that I (we, your loyal readers) can reply back to you when you leave a comment on my (our) blog? Because I just wanted to make your head swell just a little more by telling you how smart you are to be prepping your innards for Thursday. It totally motivated me to get up and open a bag of Lays at one in the morning. Ha!

Impulsive Addict said...

I LOVE a good lemoncello! And I also drink. A lot. I'm thinking about stopping but that usually makes me drink more.

Okay...you,MISTER, need to turn your email notification on so I can reply back when you leave me comments on my little ol' blog. I can even give you instructions:

Click Design at top right of your page.
Click tab for settings, then click comments. Scroll down to where it says "comment notification email" and enter it.

Follow Me Back Tuesday is just a way of getting new followers over to your page. I'm tryiing to get famous off the crap I write about! Wish me luck! =)

SQT said...

I officially love you right now. My neighbor's lemon tree is bearing fruit right now and I literally have 30 lemons on my side of the fence as we speak. I'm buying a zester and some grain alcohol tomorrow. My only regret is that it won't be ready by Thanksgiving. My husband thanks you too-- he just doesn't know it yet.

Adrie Kovic said...

Hmmm I've never had a lemoncello, might have to try that one time!

tornwordo said...

Happy Tday to you as well. I'll have to try this. I saw on another blog, Candy Cane Vodka and I want to make that too. Apparently it can be done in a day unlike the limoncello.

Birdie said...

This sounds like a lot of work. I'm exhausted just reading about it. Doesn't anyone make this stuff?

Jeannie said...

I have a not full bottle of lemoncello that was a gift from my oldest's long ex-girlfriend. We occasionally have tried to use it in various martini-ish concoctions but never thought to just drink the stuff. Everclear is not quite legal in Canada although I have some because I needed it to make green dragon. So our grain alcohol - Alcool it's called - is just ordinary strength. I have some of that too. Since I have lemoncello, could I use the recipe to make Limecello do you think? I do love lime. And then I could mix it with my most loved tequila and be happy forever and ever amen.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

It's too early in the morning for me. It took me a few minutes to get the Danny Devito reference, but I did retro-laugh. :-)

I haven't had Everclear (or any grain alcohol) since my college days. And, that's been a long time ago. I still haven't recovered those brain cells.

KittyCat said...

I am not sure what "limoncello " is but it sounds yummy.

Thanks for sharing.



KittyCat

Heff said...

Sounds nice, but can I drink beer whilst I make it ? Sometimes there's no time to waste for a buzz.

Mona said...

Sounds like you were making a documentary, followed by a commercial for limoncello gell-o

Long procedure that!

Catholic Girls...I heard that the worms try their long preserved virginity...

...in their graves...

SQT said...

I just went and picked a bunch of lemons off of my neighbors tree. I'm having fun with this. I may make lemon bars with the left over lemon juice.

Shabbygalsnest said...

I have never tried that will have to check it out! Ahh everclear haven't been kicked in the head by that mule since my early twentys and I did some really crazy stuff. Very entertaing as usual lbb!! Traci

vodka and ground beef said...

"Ooh, you know who else might make a good liqueur? Uncle Jessie of Dukes of Hazzard fame."

I laughed at this so hard. I like the way your brain works.

Happy Thanksgiving LBB. Cheers to you cocked off your ass.

Deborah said...

man the fuck up made me spew my coffee thankyouveryverymuch.

Aaaaah, you kill me and how handy!

I LOVE that you know what pith is! That is sexy.

heartinhand said...

I make crabapple vodka much the same way, only I add the sugar WITH the vodka in a Costco-sized jar filled with apples. I use vodka because I have ovaries. You can even add cinnamon sticks for a winter beverage, again this might be because I have ovaries. It's good warm or over ice.

Get thee some cheesecloth. It's easier to use than frigging coffee filters, dude!

See you in rehab!