limoncino di monterosso
limoncello or limoncino?
Limoncello and limoncino are pretty much the same thing. Their difference is only geographical. Limoncino is in fact an old Ligurian recipe very similar to the one from Sorrento to make Limoncello. The only difference is in Limoncino only Ligurian lemons are used. This recipe is very typical of Monterosso and the Cinque Terre all together. If you've never visited Cinque Terre you've missed one of the wonders of the World. They are really fantastic places and if you're planning to go to Italy in the near future I would suggest you get a trip there! The poet Eugenio Montale dedicated a poem called "I Limoni" (The lemons) to this area of Liguria in 1925.
Photo is of a place called Portovenere, in Liguria, beautiful village on the sea, right next to Cinque Terre. Worth a visit too......
...if you can get your hands on pure alcohol
You'll need 6 large lemons (unwaxed and organic)
600 ml of pure alcohol (also known as clear ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol or drinking alcohol)
800 gr of sugar
800 ml of water
Wash and dry the lemons. Peel them making sure you don't peel off the white layer as it is bitter.
Put the alcohol in a glass jar (with lid), add the peels and live somewhere in the dark for 5 days. IMPORTANT: do not use a plastic or metal jar.
After 5 days put the sugar and water in a pan and boil for about 3 minutes.
Cool down and add to the alcohol mixture. Mix well. With the aid of a funnel put into a bottle filtering it buy using a muslin cloth.
Live to rest for another week.
Some useful tools
I use a potato peeler to peel the lemons. Easy to do, takes 5 minutes!!!!
Vodka rather than pure spirit
In Italy you can buy pure alcohol in supermarkets and that's what we use to make Limoncino. The recipe that follow take into account that vodka is used rather than pure alcohol. I live in the UK and find it impossible to get the alcohol I need. Vodka works fine. Just follow my recipe and you'll love the outcome...a sweet drink to cheer everyone's heart!
...if using vodka
You'll need 9 large lemons, unwaxed and organic
One bottle of 750ml vodka
3 cups of water
2 1/4 cups of sugar
Wash, dry and peel the lemons making sure you don't peel the white layer as it is bitter. Put the zest in a jar and add vodka and water.
Put in a dark place for 5 days (shake a couple of times a day).
After 5 days sieve the mixture into a pan.
Add the sugar slowly and heat the liquid stirring constantly until the sugar has melted (only heat to warm temperature or the alcohol will evaporate).
Pour in a bottle and refrigerate for two weeks.
The Limoncino is ready after that! Enjoy!