Homemade limoncello. A favorite Italian digestif, rich as custard and strong enough to knock you down. Everclear infused with plenty of lemon zest then swirled together with milk, sugar, and vanilla.
- 10 lemons
- 1 (750-ml) bottle Everclear (a quality vodka will do if you can't find it)
- 8 cups (1.9 liters) whole milk
- 5 cups sugar (1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds)
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds and pod
1 Zest the lemons using a lemon zester or the fine groove side of a grater. (Save the zested lemons and use them for some of our great lemon recipes!) Place the zest and the Everclear in a container and allow to infuse in a dark, cool place for a week. After a week has passed strain the liquid through the cheesecloth into a very large glass, stainless steel, or ceramic bowl.
2 In a large stockpot or sauce pan, warm the milk, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds and pod over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature (this will take a few hours). Discard the vanilla bean (wash it and save it for another use) and strain the mixture through the cheesecloth.
3 Combine the Everclear infusion with the sweet milk and stir together. Pass through a colander lined with cheesecloth to catch any solids. Funnel into bottles and store in the freezer. Be sure to leave room in the bottles for the mixture to expand if it freezes to avoid an explosion. Use within six months. Serve small amounts in chilled glasses.