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When I was 16, my parents brought me to Italy on one of my dad’s business trips. There was gelato and caprese salads and limoncello. Sure, I wasn’t actually allowed to have more than a few sips, but it was sweet and alcoholic, and I liked it.
Fast forward to this past June and Alex and I went to Florence. I kept trying to explain the amazing allure of limoncello. The tiny glasses they serve it in and the sweet, citrusy flavor. So we ordered it one day after lunch and now Alex loves it, too. I never realized it would be so easy to replicate at home. Sure, I had a few nicks on my fingers from all the lemon peeling, but it’s worth it to have something in the house that reminds me of Florence.
10-12 organic lemons
1 750-ml bottle of vodka
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
Wash lemons and peel them, making sure to get the most of the rind off the lemon while getting the least amount of the pith (white part). Place the peels in a large beverage container and pour the vodka over them. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let the vodka mixture sit at room temperature for 4 days. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat, stirring often, until it’s dissolved. Let the simple syrup cool completely and then pour it over the vodka and lemon peels. Allow this mixture to sit overnight or for at least 12 hours. Strain the lemon peels out of the limoncello. Serve chilled.