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(and Mandarino Torellino, Thanks Steven!)

Zest of 12 Lemons (with NO pith, preferably obtained using a Microplane grater, buy here or here)

1 bottle (750 mL) Everclear (190 proof grain alcohol)

3 and 1/2 cups granulated white sugar

3 and 1/2 cups water (preferably distilled)

How to put it together:

Empty the Everclear into a glass bowl and shave the lemon zest into the Everclear, avoiding adding any pith (the bitter white part of the lemon rind). While you can gain satisfactory results with a zester and somewhat less so with a fixed blade vegetable peeler (but not at all with a swivel blade peeler), I recommend using one of the Microplane graters. Stir well, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least one week (if you used Microplane/zester) and up to two weeks (if you used a peeler).

After macerating for the above time period, in a large bowl mix together the sugar and water. Pour in the lemon alcohol through a sieve so that no solid parts go into the sugar water. Using a ladle or liquid measuring cup, pour mixture back on top of solids to extract all of the alcohol/essence, pressing with the back of a spoon. Discard solids. The sugar water will cause the lemon alcohol to turn milky.

Pour the newly created limoncello through a funnel into several glass bottles, filling to the top and then corking or capping. Age the limoncello for at least 30 days in a freezer prior to drinking. Serve direct from the freezer with frozen shot glasses.

Variation: use 9 mandarin oranges instead of the lemons for the digestivo I learned from the Torellis in Sesto Fiorentino while living in Italy over a five year period.

Variation: use 6-7 navel oranges plus 1/2 pound fresh ginger root (peeled then completely grated on the Microplane grater) instead of the lemons for a "Zenzerino"

Variation: Add half of a vanilla bean along with the lemon zest to the Everclear

Variation: Add a few sprigs fresh rosemary or sage or some fresh lavendar flowers along with the lemon zest to the Everclear. NOTE because of the astringency/bitterness of the herbs, the limoncello may need to age 90 days before being pleasantly palatable instead of just 30. Go easy on the herbs - a little goes a long way.

NOTE: The waxy, non-porous coating (which tastes awful so must be fully washed/scrubbed off with a special cleanser) and the very thin, dry zest on limes makes it very difficult to obtain lime zest which will work well for this recipe - but it can be done with very fresh organic limes.

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