A new post, can you believe it?! Many apologies for my sloth, friends. I have a few reviews collected but I haven’t been posting them in a timely fashion at all. I’ve been busy working on other sites, but it’s no excuse!
My latest idea was to test a few of the recipes out on the web that are very popular and see how they compare to my own. I started with a recipe on the Food Network by Giada De Laurentiis. Check it out and you’ll see all the specs that I usually post here. Since the recipe doesn’t specify, I employed my own best practices and used organic lemons and 100-proof vodka.
I’m testing a few things here. One is just what Giada’s recipe tastes like versus my own. A second is peeling versus zesting. She recommends peeling and I usually zest. A third is the infusion time, she recommends 4 days and I usually do a minimum of 30 days.
Without further ado, here are the results. The peeling was a painful process. I’m meticulous about not getting any pith and you have to be serious samurai to peel lemons quickly without getting any pith. It took me a long time. There are people who claim peeling is the ONLY way to make limoncello because it produces a product with more flavor and clarity. I’ll concede the clarity point. Zesting produces a much cloudier limoncello. If you peel you’ll get a nice clear limoncello right away. It’s also easier to filter. However, I don’t think it positively impacts the lemon flavor you get and if you let zested limoncello rest long enough, it becomes clear eventually.
The finished limoncello had a nice medium yellow color, but the aroma was weak and it was hard to detect the lemon scent. The flavor was also pretty weak, it tasted like a lemon drop but had a character more akin to simple syrup than limoncello. It was extremely smooth with no real alcohol heat. I would describe this as limoncello for those who don’t really like alcohol. It had a very sweet, easy-to-like flavor so I understand why the recipe is popular (nothing to do with Giada I’m sure…). I prefer a stronger lemon character and a stronger liquor in general. Those are certainly preferences though.
In all, this is a good recipe for someone wanting to give limoncello as a gift. You can make it quickly vs. my recipe and it produces a clear, attractive limoncello that most people who don’t usually drink limoncello may like. It’s not a batch that I would personally be proud of but it’s definitely interesting that you can make a semi-decent limoncello in 4 days.