Step 5: Dilute, sweeten, and enjoy!

Picture of Dilute, sweeten, and enjoy!
Remember when I said we'd dilute it down to something more reasonable? Now's the time. I used 4 cups of water and 2-1/2 of sugar, which is a decent starting point. You may want to add a bit more sugar-water if you used the high-test Nevada Everclear instead of the weak stuff we get here in the California Republic, but it's easy enough to adjust the strength later. (Edit: I have a batch in now that I'm planning on preparing according to Alain80's recommendation below of a 1:1:1: ratio of alcohol to water to sugar (one gram of sugar per one milliliter of water/alcohol). I'll post my results here once it's done.)

Anyway, heat the water on the stove and stir in the sugar. You don't need to boil the water, but you do need to get it hot enough so the sugar dissolves. Stir it frequently until it turns clear. The sugar-water will be markedly more refractive than plain water, because of all the dissolved sugar, but you should be able to see the bottom of the pan clearly.

There's an argument that I should have taken pictures of making the syrup for completeness, but dissolving white powder in clear liquid to make another clear liquid is the sort of thing even the dimmest Photo 102 student would recognize as "not visually interesting." My pedantic side demanded one, though, so it's in this batch as well.

In any event, that's it! You can drink it as it is, but it'll improve with a month or so of sitting. It won't freeze unless you added a lot of water, so feel free to keep it in the freezer. Good luck!
keyguy136 years ago
Could you use splenda instead of sugar, for us diabetics?
maybe xylitol would work....i have used that stuff in other projects with pretty good results.
Splenda doesn't give the Limoncello that silky texture like sugar does. Maybe try half splenda and half sugar in a small batch?
NOOO. Yulk.
Revkan112 years ago
I've tried lime zest with Bacardi rum. Really good and pretty too. Be sure to use cheese cloth get all of the particles out of it or it will look muddy. Try orange zest in vodka; nice.
I wonder how mint leaves would do?
How many mil liters are ther in a quart.
1 milliliter in a quart = 946.353

a bottle of liquor is 750 ml
that's about 3.094cups per 750mL bottle
Revkan112 years ago
If you keep it in the freezer, it gets smooth and silky. Try it. And that is correct. Mine's been sitting for 3 weeks now in the freezer and every time I take a taste it get s better and better. DELICIOUS!
dalejand3 years ago
My first batch following your recipe turned out delicious! It turned out not as yellow because I used organic unbleached cane sugar - the sugar granules were brownish - turning my limoncello.... well, brownish. Tastes great, but now I feel weird giving it away. Oh well, my closest friends won't mind and there's more for me now. Just wish I hadn't made a double batch. It's a learning lesson for next time. I thought I'd post so others can learn from my mistakes.
ofedaisy6 years ago
How or why does it improve after adding the sugar and letting it sit longer?
gulcin6 years ago
why did you add the sugar syrup at the last step i am asking this because almost all liqueur recipes I've looked they put the sugar, fruit and alcohol together then wait. is there any difference ? thanks a lot
You would add sugar at the beginning if you were trying to ferment your fruit to produce alchohol. Little micro-organisms use the sugar in fruits to fuel their reactions, and alcohol is one of the byproducts. If we were fermenting lemons, we'd use the fruit, not the peel, because of the fruit's high sugar content. Adding sugar would boost the reaction, to a point. But in this case, all of the fermentation and fortification has been done for us. The result: Everclear. Also, adding sugar in the beginning of this recipe would be kinda pointless, because sugar is water soluble, not alcohol soluble. Since Everclear is almost pure alcohol, very little of the sugar would dissolve into the solution. The rest would just sit at the bottom of your container, doing nothing. Sugar is only added to this recipe because is makes the drink sweet. Therefore, it can wait till the end, just like adding sugar to your coffee or tea.