Lime and Orange-cello

My limoncello has been quite good.  It isn’t something you gulp or drink large quantities of, but a few ounces in the late evening or on a hot day is quite refreshing.  Though less popular it appears you can do the same thing with oranges and limes, so lets do that!

I didn’t quite use all of the oranges, but the limes got either peeled or zested and tossed into a quart jar.  I juiced the left over fruit and had some really awesome limey orange juice.

DSC_0064Next, I tossed in some multi-distilled vodka and left them to sit for a week.  It worked well last time, so why mess with success?

Both batches got filtered through a coffee filter into a 1L glass bottle with a sealable top.  Here is a picture of the two liquids with a shot of my limoncello between them.  Orange is on the left and lime is on the right.


I am kind of amazed that there isn’t a bigger difference.  They seemed so different in the jar, but that must have been mostly the rind.  I mixed up a batch of 2:1 simple syrup and filled both bottles up most of the way.  My goal was again to make it drinkable with a hint of sweetness, but not super syrupy.  Chilling and an upcoming dinner party will tell how I have done.



I don’t think I had ever had limoncello before a friend’s wife gifted me some for christmas.  She is a bartender and did some fine drink related gifts this past year.  It was really good stuff, and I wanted to try my hand at making some.  She makes it in huge batches so I was worried about a recipe scale issue.  Instead I read 5 different online recipes that don’t seem to agree at all.

The lemon to vodka ratio was pretty stable at around 8-10ish zested lemons per 750ml of vodka.  The wait time ranged between 3 days and well over a month.  Time to improvise.  I went with 10 lemons into 750ml, and taste tested it along the way. Zesting worked, and I did that to some, but it was slow.  Peeling went much faster, and my peeler didn’t get much of the bitter white stuff under the rind.

With the jar filled and looking pretty yellow right off the bat I waited.  Every other day or so I would do a tiny taste test.  It was harsh, being basically pure vodka, but the lemon flavor started coming out quickly.  I found it to be a good flavor after about a week, so I poured it into a larger bottle through a coffee filter.  The result was a tansparent yellow liquid.  Kind of looks like pee, but tastes nice and lemony.

Most recipes have you adding a lot of simple syrup.  I didn’t want this to be very sweet.  I made a batch of 2:1 sugar to water syrup and added it in small splashes with tastes in between.  The pictures below show before and after adding the syrup.  It is a 1 liter bottle and was probably right around 750ml full before.  I would guess about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup when in, but that is a guess.  I wanted to take the edge off vodka, but not turn it into some super sickly sweet mess.  I think the balance was good.

I enjoy it warm, but having a small glass straight from the freezer is awesome!  Don’t forget that it is still mostly vodka!  Next will be coming a version with limes and another with oranges.  I can hardly wait!

Final Recipe

  • 10 Lemons
  • 750ml Vodka
  • ~1 C simple syrup to taste (2:1 sugar to water)

Zest or peel lemons being careful not to remove white stuff under rind.  Leave in vodka for around a week, tasting will help guide you.  Filter through a coffee filter into a second container.  Add simple syrup to taste.


Vanilla Extract Starter

I gave away some Vanilla Extract for Christmas, and it was pretty popular.  I ran out of my 4 month batch pretty quickly.  I almost broke open the second pint slated for 6 months, but was able to hold off.  Next Christmas there will be enough for all!

The first batch was small and before my blog, so lets get bigger!  The golden ratio is 1 ounce of vanilla beans to 1 cup of vodka.  B grade beans offer a more robust flavor, and a good clean multiple distillation vodka shouldn’t impart anything extra.  I learned the basic technique from Vanilla Review.  You can do it too, in just a few easy steps!

1.  Obtain vanilla beans, jars, and vodka.


2.  Cut vanilla into small segments.  (finger for scale, 4 ounces pictured)

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3.  Place bean fragments into jars.

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4.  Fill with vodka, and seal.  A date label is useful.

DSC_0006 Resized 5.  WAIT!!!  Unfortunately, this is the hard part.  My 4 month batch turned out pretty well, but I really want these to go the full 6 months.  Occasional shaking is required.  This batch was with 8 ounces of beans going into two quart jars filled to the top with vodka.  Check back in 6 months for the extract reveal.