Saturday, January 18, 2014

Danny DeVito Has Nothing on Me

One of the things that I love about Sorrento is that they are crazy for Limoncello.  Every restaurant, every home, every automobile repair shop, has bottles of this stuff in their freezer.  Every one of them has their own family recipe, handed down from their nonna and they all think theirs is the best.  So much so, that they insist that you taste it.  Better yet, they give it away at the end of the meal, for free.

I can't think of a meal that we had in that town that did not end with complimentary shots of Limoncello for everyone at the table and in some cases, whole bottles were set on the tables with glasses.   This made for long, relaxed dinners and even more relaxed diners.  But this sunny yellow liquor has a dark side.  Some of the members of our travel party over-indulged in the lemony treat, to the tune of some really bizarre behavior and wicked hangovers.  The clip of Danny DeVito below is reminiscent of our visit, yet some how milder (for real).

I am not the biggest fan of Limoncello as I find it to be way too sweet for the most part.  There are some that I have had that I like more than others (funny how I keep trying it), but I am just not into sweet drinks.  What I do like Limoncello for is as a mixer in other drinks or as an ingredient in a recipe.

Being that I am a fussy pain in the ass and because I got a rad Limoncello Set for Christmas, I figured that I should try to make my own.  This will allow me to control the sweetness and the strength of the final beverage and will give me a chance to make a Limoncello that I love.

This morning, armed with a colander full of lemons and a bottle of grain alcohol (aka Everclear - yes, that Everclear.  The stuff that was the root of all your bad decisions in college.), I set out to make some Limoncello.  There are all kinds of recipes with all kinds of recommendations for how long to soak the peels, how much sugar to add, how long to rest the mixed liquor, etc.  I am going by only one thing - my taste buds.  I plan to taste it at 10, 20, 30 and 40 days, until the color and flavor are to my liking.   I will report back here as things progress and will let you know if I find the magic balance of flavor and sweetness that makes me happy.   Until then, here are some pictures of lemons...I warn you, there is nudity involved.

Here are my still dressed, proper lemons, fresh from the bath.

If lemons could blush...

Gorgeous yellow jackets before going in a pool full of the devil's drink

Bad decisions will be made.  I advise you all to steer clear of The View.

At 1 week, the mixture is lemony and light yellow without any bitterness.

One more week of soaking...