I have fond memories of my travels in Italy; even the bad days. One day, travelling alone, I found myself stranded at the Paestum ruins. The bus hadn’t come, the guy who sold tickets back to town had somehow run out of tickets, it was a thousand degrees and I was lost. So I did what any reasonable person would do under these circumstances. I had a gelato.
To be precise, a lemon sorbet (so I guess technically a sorbetto) which is an unusual choice for a chocolate obsessed human like myself. It was perfect: zesty, ice cold but still creamy, sour but not too sour. It cooled me off and calmed me down, ready to fix my situation.
Subsequent lemon sorbets have all proved disappointing: too sweet, too icy, too sticky. But even a sip of limoncello takes me back to that dripping hot day, and that feeling of relief.
They tell me patience is a virtue. I do not possess it. BUT this limoncello is worth the wait. Trust me.
7 large lemons, preferably from your backyard (or someone else’s)
1 Cup sugar
Juice and zest the lemons. Combine with sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly, then combine with vodka in a large jug.
Sterilise a large jar (or several smaller jars) by washing it thoroughly in very hot soapy water, then heating gate jars in a very low oven and boiling the lids in water. Fill the hot jars and screw the lids on tight.
Heat treat the jars by placing them in a large pot, covering at least 3/4 of the way up the jars with water. Bring to the boil and boil for 15 minutes.
This all ensures that your limoncello can develop in a very clean environment.
Here comes the patience: leave the jars in a cool dark place for AT LEAST 20 (preferably 30) days to develop the flavour. Then you can crack open the citrusy goodness and drink on ice. Alternatively give it as a gift or save your creation for a special occasion.
This recipe was adapted from SBS Food