December 18, 2009

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Lime Liqueur

I’ve always been a big fan of limes. Love them in my water and especially in my sweet tea.

I have yet to see a Lime based/flavored Liqueur, something that has always disappointed me. So, when someone poured me a glass of homemade Limoncello/Lemoncello I realized I would have to make my own (a moral imperative, if you will).

Full list of ingredients and directions after the fold.

Mon Oct 26 — Day 1

I peeled 16 Limes into a sun tea jar. Then poured a 750 mL container of 151 Proof Everclear (Nevada being one of the states that doesn’t allow anything higher than 151), along with about 3/4 of a 750 mL container of cheap 80 Proof Rum (less flavor than other rums). I used the rum to increase the sugar content, Limoncello recipes call for Vodka or Everclear only.

I ended up storing it under my sink for the next 16 days, shaking it up a little bit each day to unsettle the peels, making sure none got only partially absorbed.

Thu Nov 12 — Day 17

Strained the liqueur into a large stock pot; make simple syrup, let it cool, then added it to large stock pot, mixed the results, then busted out the funnel to try and bottle the stuff. Here I ran into problems.

Stock pots are unwieldy, thus attempting to pour one into a funnel to get liqueur into bottles did not work. Lost a little bit of alcohol attempting that :(

Thankfully, I had a soup ladle available and using that worked MUCH better. One bottle went into the freezer, the other 2 went into my pantry.

Fri Nov 27 — Day 32

Time to try my tasty beverage! I poured some into a shot glass and sipped. Very fragrant, mellow green in color, and quite strong. Jon would not approve of the alcohol taste in the beverage, but it was not bad. Next up was pouring a tasty beverage. For this I took a large glass, ice, water, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, and added my Lime Liqueur.

Very, very nice. Reminded me of having Sweet Tea with Limes like I had growing up, only with alcohol. After one glass I had a very pleasant buzz.

Ingredients:

  1. 16 Small to Medium sized Limes — I would have gotten bigger ones if they were available.
  • 750 mL container of 151 Proof Everclear
  • 750 mL container of 80 Proof cheap Rum
  • 5 cups Water
  • 4 cups Granulated Sugar Required Devices:
  1. Sun Tea Jar
  • Peeler
  • Sauce Pan
  • Large Stock Pot
  • Measuring Cup for water and sugar
  • Wire Mesh Strainer
  • 3 750 mL Empty Bottles
  • Funnel that will work with your bottles
  • Ladle Directions:
  1. Peel the Limes avoiding the rind (the white part) as much as possible and place the peels inside the Sun Tea Jar
  • Add the bottle of Everclear, and as much of the Rum as you can fit (I only got about 3/4 of the bottle in) — save the bottles if you wish to use them to store your tasty beverage afterward.
  • Seal the jar and place in a cool dark place (under the sink works great).
  • Let sit 10-40 days. It is completely up to you on how long you wish to wait. If you opt for a shorter duration, then I’d recommend shaking the jar gently once a day to ensure that all the peels are thoroughly soaked.
  • Place the strainer over the stock pot and pour the contents of the jar into it. You may want to shake the strainer to get the last few drops off the peels. CAUTION: The jar will be VERY fragrant and may cause light headedness (it is basically pure alcohol, what’d you expect?).
  • In the Sauce Pan, bring the water to a gentle boil then add the sugar. Cook until thickened (about 5-15 minutes).
  • Let the simple syrup cool and then add it to the large stock pot, stirring gently.
  • Ladle your liqueur into the funnel to fill the bottles.
  • Allow the liqueur to age another 10-40 days. I placed one bottle in the freezer and the others in my pantry.
  • Enjoy chilled for best results.