I finished and tasted my first batch for this site and have very originally labeled it “Batch #1.” Here are the stats on this first batch:
Liquor: Two 750ml bottles of Everclear 151
Liquor filtration: 1x
Lemons: 17 Non-organic, waxed and scrubbed
Days peels and liquor rested: 49
Simple Syrup – Cups Sugar: 4, Cups Water: 5
Days syrup rested with infusion: 29
Final filtration: 4x
This first batch didn’t rest as long as normal with the simple syrup. The first tasting was also conducted before I figured out that you should let it sit at least a week before tasting it. In any case, the color, consistency and aroma were spot on. A nice light yellow color with a potent lemon smell and after chilling it moves out of the bottle at the appropriate speed, which in my opinion is something a little quicker than maple syrup.
The flavor though, left quite a bit to be desired. It seemed very sweet when it first hit your tongue, much too sweet I think. After that there was a roar of alcohol burn and bite. This one needs to sit a while. I’ve noticed since that letting it sit just a week in the bottle (in the freezer) seems to calm the flavor a bit. This one I tasted right after bottling and it was pretty rough. One problem with how long it takes to make Limoncello is that by the time you get feedback like this on the flavor, you’ve already made a couple other batches with some of the same mistakes. My conclusion for future batches was that I could stand to use maybe a cup less sugar in the simple syrup and more time on the shelf.
Below is my flavor graph for the first batch. There can be many nuances of flavor in Limoncello and I’ll have to express those in words but I think that the basics of the Limoncello flavor can be expressed on two axes, tart to sweet and rough to smooth. This is debatable, but many people think that Limoncello should have a bite to it. Therefore, “perfection” on this graph would be in the dead center if you like a little bite. If you don’t, perfection would be centered vertically but more to the right horizontally. Here is where this batch fell: