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From the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

15 thick skinned lemons
2 bottles (750 ml) 100-proof vodka
4 cups sugar
5 cups distilled water

Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water
to remove any residue of wax or pesticides. Dry lemons
with a clean towel.

Carefully zest the lemons so there is no white pith on
the zested peel.

In a large glass 1-gallon jar, (the kind you make sun
tea in is perfect) add one bottle of vodka; add the
lemon zest as it is zested. Cover the jar and let sit
at room temperature, in a cool dark place, for at least
10 days and up to 40 days. The longer it rests,
the better the taste will be. (There is no need to stir
or agitate; all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello
sits, the vodka slowly takes on the flavor and rich yellow
color of the lemon zest.

When you are ready to proceed to the next step, combine the
sugar and water in a large saucepan, cook until thickened,
approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let the syrup cool before
adding it to the Limoncello mixture. Add to the Limoncello
mixture along with the second bottle of vodka. Allow to rest
for another 10 to 40 days.

After you are satisfied with the rest period, strain through a
porcelain strainer and bottle it in sterilised bottles. Keep in
the freezer until ready to serve.

Frequently I cap the vodka bottle after emptying it and then
use it to decant the limoncello. That way I know it is clean
and safe.


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