Back in June for Birthday Week I was over at The Publican for a knock your socks off type of dinner and noticed on the dessert menu Guilana’s Creme di Limoncello. I’m always up for something new to try, part of the reason of dining out. Well, with the first sip I felt like I had been transported to Sorrento. Sitting on the beach under an umbrella as the sun sets, all the while Dario is pouring me a luscious glass of liquid limoncello heaven.
Okay, maybe not that dreamy, but you get the point. It was THAT OUTSTANDING. When the waiter stopped by, I casually asked him where I might ascertain a small bottle of Guilana’s masterpiece. It seems Miss Guilana is LOCAL and only makes small batches for The Publican. How does that happen? But I knew I had Google on my side and just gave him a pleasant nod. So her full name is Giuliana Vitagliano. And there the trail runs dry. Sons a bitches! Until Miss Vitagliano and I can exchange recipes…hers for the limoncello, and cheesecake for mine, (sorry Mom I know you want me to take that one to the grave), I thought I’d try my hand at a batch.
There are lots of recipes on the internet and the first major obstacle to overcome were the lemons. Since I’m not going to be in Sorrento with Dario any time soon, I decided to go with the next best thing; which are Meyer lemons. A Meyer lemon is a hybrid of a lemon and a Mandarin orange. They are mostly coming out of California and every now and then you see them at a gourmet market. I’m tempted to grow my own!
The recipe that I am using calls for 8-10 Meyer Lemons. Whole Foods had only 9 of them today…true story. I ended up getting them for free, which is another story I’ll save for later. What you’ll need is a glass container and something called Everclear.
Picture Tennessee Smoky Mountains and driving up to the very top and meeting Cletus at his “unlicensed still” and purchasing a jug of White Lightening.”
My brother has an obnoxious love of cherries. He discovered in Tennessee somewhere deep within the mountains, some people “marinate” them in White Lightening. My cool ass bro acquired a Mason Jar full of these cherries and brought them back to good ol’ Lutz, FL back in the 80’s. My parents, brother and I all sat around our kitchen table as he popped the lid. We each tried one. That moment will go down in the books as just plain WHACKED!! I actually think I sprouted chest hair. Yeah, so Everclear…151 proof pure grain alcohol. The warnings on the bottle were a little unnerving.
And the other warning was about putting the liquid near an open flame. How do even explain that to your landlord? I was making a vat of lemonade and somehow the kitchen just blew up. Whatever….
Basically you peel 9 lemons and let them sit in the Everclear for a month; stirring once a week.
Stay tuned……I’ll let you know how it turns out.