* Choose thick-skinned lemons because they are easier to zest.
** Use 100-proof vodka, which has less flavor than a lower proof one. Also the high alcohol level will ensure that the limoncello will not turn to ice in the freezer.
Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry.
Carefully zest the lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is too bitter and would spoil your limoncello. Check out my web page on How to Zest.
In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar), add one bottle of vodka.
Add the lemon zest as it is zested.
Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least (10) ten days and up to (40) days in a cool dark place. The longer it rests, the better the taste will be. (There is no need to stir - all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly take on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; cook until thickened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Let the syrup cool before adding it to the Limoncello mixture.
Add to the Limoncello mixture from Step One. Add the additional bottle of vodka. Allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days.
After the rest period, strain and bottle: discarding the lemon zest.
Keep your bottles of Limoncello in the freezer until ready to serve.
Ripe Medium Tomatoes, cored, cut into 4 each ¼ inch cubes (about 4 cups)
Medium Red Bell Peppers 2 each cored, seeded, cut into ¼ inch cubes
Small cucumbers (about 1 pound), one peeled 2 each
and one with the skin on, both seeded cut into ¼ inch cubes
Small Sweet Onion (Vidalia), minced 1 each
Garlic Cloves, minced 2 each
Salt 2 tsp
Sherry Vinegar 1/3 cup
Ground Black Pepper To Taste
Tomato Juice 5 cups
Hot Pepper Sauce (optional) 1 tsp
Ice Cubes 8 each
Method of Preparation
1. Gather all ingredients and equipment
2. Combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, garlic, salt, vinegar, and pepper in a large (at least 4-quart) nonreactive bowl
3. Let stand until the vegetables just begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes
4. Stir in the tomato juice, hot pepper sauce, if using, and ice cubes
5. Cover tightly and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days
6. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and remove and discard any unmelted ice cubes
7. Serve cold, drizzling each portion with about a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil and topping with the desired garnishes (garlic croutons, chopped pitted black olives, chopped hard-boiled eggs, or finely diced avocado)