Crema di Limoncello


I went to the grocery store over the weekend, and while I was there my husband texted and asked me to pick up a can of red hair spray for his Halloween Costume (he dressed up as Ron Weasley). I went to the Halloween section, which just days before had been full of costumes, candy, and Halloween decor. But now, just 3 days before Halloween, the section was reduced to a measly and picked over half-aisle. I wandered down the aisles to see if there were any other Halloween supplies, but only found aisle after aisle of Christmas merchandise. It was red and green as far as the eye could see.

It’s all a little bit ridiculous, isn’t it? Christmas seems to come earlier every year. I’m just not ready for it — for all the holiday crowds and obnoxious renditions of Jingle Bells playing on repeat in department stores (does a non-obnoxious version of Jingle Bells exist?).

And yet, here I am posting about Christmas on Halloween. I’m just as bad as the grocery store, apparently.

But, the actual recipe has nothing to do with Christmas. The recipe is for Crema Di Limoncello, which is a creamy lemon liqueur that can be enjoyed year-round. I made a batch of limoncello a couple of weeks ago, with the idea of getting a head start on my Christmas presents this year. You see, I make most of my Christmas gifts by hand and so I figured that if I got started on gifts in October, then I’d be less stressed in December.

This idea was good in theory, until my husband and I consumed all the limoncello (OK, we didn’t consume all of it…I did swap some of it at the last PDX Food Swap). Oops. This stuff is dangerously delicious. I suppose this is one gift I’ll have to wait and make in December, as it simply won’t last long at our house. It is too good!

That being said, maybe I shouldn’t recommend that you make limoncello for Christmas gifts. Maybe you should just make a batch and drink it with friends and loved ones. However, if you’re one of my friends or loved ones, you probably shouldn’t make any as I will most likely be giving you a bottle for Christmas. ;)

Anyway…Happy Halloween (and Happy Reformation Day)! I’m going to celebrate with a big bowl of pumpkin curry, and I might just drink the last few drops of limoncello that I have left. Be warm, safe, and happy tonight.

Crema di Limoncello
Adapted from Vanilla Garlic

(**Note the original recipe makes twice this amount. My recipe starts with a pint of Everclear, as opposed to a full 750ml bottle. In addition, the ratio of milk to alcohol is 2 to 1, and yet this limoncello still packs a punch. I was dubious about the 4 cups of milk to 2 cups of Everclear, but it works, trust me.)

5 lemons
2 cups Everclear (You could substitute another brand of vodka in this recipe, but Everclear has a higher alcohol content than other vodkas. If you use another vodka, reduce the amount of milk used)
4 cups of whole milk
1.5 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (or half a a vanilla bean)
Cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer

Zest the lemons (using a grater, or by peeling strips off with a knife/peeler). Place Everclear and lemon zest into a jar and seal. Store in a cool, dry place for one week (or more. I let mine steep for two weeks). Strain using cheesecloth or strainer to remove zest.

In a small pot or saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat. Add in the sugar and the vanilla, and cook (stirring frequently) until the sugar has dissolved. Remove milk mixture from heat and allow to cool.

Once cool, mix milk and infused Everclear together in a large bowl or pitcher. Funnel into bottles, jars, or other tightly sealed containers. Store in the fridge or freezer. Serve chilled.

Note: Limoncello is usually served as an after dinner cocktail. I like to serve it in small glasses, poured straight out of the freezer. The colder the better!

20 Responses

  1. Kiri W. says:

    Sounds wonderful! :) Definitely need to keep this recipe on my to-try list.
    Aww, I was hoping for a Ron Weasley picture!

  2. I have been in love with Limoncello for years now and have seen recipes for the creamy kind but never tried it. I’m not sure why…. but seeing your recipe I think it’s time to go buy some lemons :-D

  3. Rachael says:

    How lovely this is, and I adore the bottle you use, perfect gift idea, thank you for sharing.

  4. Arrrrgh! Oh for the days when Hallowe’en was out of the way before the Xmas decorations arrived! On the other hand, this would make a gorgeous change from Baileys Irish Cream for Xmas.

  5. Omg this sounds amazing! I am definitely go to save this and try it out. Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a beautiful gift idea! I start early too, and try to have everything done for Christmas by the end of November. Dec. 1st any and all cards and packages go in the mail, and then I can sit back and enjoy all the tree lightings, cookie swaps, and parties without feeling like I’m being stretched in a million different directions.

  7. I am one of those obnoxious people who LOVES Christmas so much that I’m a red-cheeked elf all through December. And when it was snowing out here last weekend I had to use my willpower NOT to put on holiday music while I baked. And now you’ve got me thinking of making gifts already. But I agree… it comes way too early every year, and the commercialism kills me. Really.

    But making limoncello? That I can get down with. Yum!

  8. […] with, that’s what I’ve gone with. BUT, this time around I’m thinking of trying rosemarried’s Crema di Limoncello: the steps are the same, except the simple syrup is replaced by a sweetened milk that’s […]

  9. Cindy DeBoard says:

    Have you ever made Apple Pie Liquer with the everclear? mmmm…so good.

  10. […] a lemon-creamsicle liqueur? yes, please! i’m an expert infuser, but this would be my first liqueur. my mom’s homemade irish cream, with whiskey, eggs, and a mess of other strange things, was completely magickal. this sounds easier: just infuse, heat milk, and combine? i’m in! […]

  11. […] Wreaths with Felt Flowers *Homemade Creme de Menthe *Grapefruit Cranberry Marmelade *Crema di Limoncello *Cute Little Marble Magnets *Homemade Vanilla Extract *The Cutest Little Holiday Snow Globes *Moss […]

  12. Jadiee says:

    I didn’t follow this exact but i tried to make a single serving and had issue with the milk separating. It smoothed out well in the shaker but could this be more of an issue because i used a blend of vodka and ever clear?

  13. Colleen says:

    I made this – this past weekend and it is outstanding. My vodka soaked for 2 weeks. This recipe is wonderful. Creamy Limoncello has been something my friends and family and I have always drank at each gathering as a cheers. I made 2 gallons of this and already want to make more for gifts. I made it with 100 proof vodka so cut the milk in halk and it was wonderful.

  14. The Mad Hungarian says:

    I finally put this together last night, and I must say it is delicious! I waited 3 weeks for my everclear to be ready, and it was worth the wait. The peels were dry and brittle, leaving me to assume their oil had been fully released. If you make this with vodka, thats seems like a waste of time. Everclesr doesnt impart any taste into your end result. And this lady is right, it packs a wallop, in a warm and digestive way! Nom nom nom

  15. Rebecca says:

    Does crema di limoncello have a shorter fridge/freezer life than regular limoncello? Does the milk go bad at some point? Has anyone tried adding cream or half & half? so is that just gilding the lily? Thanks.

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