By Samy Stein
Bitter, sharp, packed so neat
Whose for a lemon treat?
Suck it slow, your mouth contorts
Eat it quick, you might feel sick
But add it little to a drink
or whip it in some cream and sink
your spoon into the lemon-goo
I bet , like me, you like lemons too
And what better way to enjoy your lemons as a beverage with as much tradition as Limoncello. And it is summer in Lebanon ….
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi and islands of Procida, Ischia and Capri.
Traditionally, it is made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons that are also known as Sorrento lemons. Lemon zest or peels without the pith are steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup.
Nothing closes an Italian dinner, or lunch for that matter, like a glass of home-made Limoncello. I have been playing with the thought of making my own Limoncello for some time now. In the process of my research I came across the web-site, aptly called LimoncelloQuest. And the race was on for my first home-made Limoncello.
There is a downloadable recipe file with almost minute-to-minute instruction, interlaced with lots of images. One can not fail ……
And fail, I did not. After grating, what seemed like a thousand lemons, the wait was on. 45 days wait is a long wait, if you are waiting ……
Of course, there are just a few opportunities to taste until the finished product is in front of you in all its glory. But I took every one of it, and made no excuse of it. And the first 45 days was only half of it. Once the syrup is blended in, you have another 45 days to wait. And wait I did ….
I did not bother with four round of filtering, I did just one. I figured this stuff will not get old enough to develop a bitter undertone.
So, here it is ….
Homemade Limoncello …. on our terrace, overlooking the valley in front of us, waiting for the sun to set …..