OK – so my story doesn’t have any sort of sad component about getting metaphorical lemons; instead, I just got a bunch of actual lemons! And when life gives you actual lemons, why make lemonade when you can make limoncello? One of my girlfriends from business school offered to have her family tote home-grown lemons from California to Colorado over graduation weekend. I gratefully accepted and immediately following graduation, she hosted a lemon zesting/limoncello preparation party. Wine was consumed, gossip was spilled, and pictures were taken. If there was ever a time when I felt unsure about whether I should have pursued the MBA program (rarely ever), moments like these reassure me of my decision.
I thought it was funny when one of my girlfriends pointed out how each of our lemon zesting styles represented our personality. Nancy, you are always so insightful! Below is a depiction of my friend Emily’s personality – graceful, and deliberate.
If I had a picture of the lemons I zested with my gnarly grater – well let’s just say it would look a little rough around the edges.
The recipe is simple although it does require one ingredient that I find hard to use: patience! That’s because the main secret with limoncello is that it must age for a period of time. According to this recipe, we are supposed to let it age for 40 days initially, and then after we add the simple syrup, it should age for another 40 days.
Susan Holtzman’s Limoncello
The zest of 20 lemons
A bottle of 100 proof Absolute Vodka
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine ingredients and then age for 40 days. Mine is in a glass dispenser/ container sitting on the kitchen counter.
After aging, add 5 cups of simple syrup (see recipe below). Age for another 40 days (in the same container) and enjoy! I plan to buy smaller bottles and bottle the finished limoncello as a gift for friends.
1 part water to 1 part sugar (in this case, I used 2.5 cups of water and 2.5 cups of sugar to make 5 cups of simple syrup)
In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.