In this article, we will answer the question “Can you make alcohol from lemons?”, and how to make Limoncello?
Can you make alcohol from lemons?
Follow the procedure below to make lemon wine at home.
- 8-10 lemons, thinly sliced
- 3 lbs sugar
- 1 lb sultana raisins (or 1-quart white grape juice)
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- 1 tsp pectic enzyme
- 1 packet wine yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
- water to fill
- In a saucepan, add water, sugar, lemons, and raisins or grape juice, and bring this mixture to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and dissolve the sugars by stirring.
- Pour the mixture into a primary fermentation vessel.
- Then stir in yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, and wine yeast. Let this mixture ferment for 7-10 days.
- After the completion of primary fermentation, rack the wine into a secondary fermenter with the help of a sterilized siphon. Let It undergo secondary fermentation for about 6 – 8 weeks. At the end of the secondary fermentation, wine becomes clear.
- Bottle the lemon wine in corked wine bottles. Allow the wine to age for at least 3 months before drinking to enhance the flavor.
Lemon mead recipe variations
If you do not want to add heaping amounts of sugar, replace 3 pounds of added sugar with 3 pounds of honey to make lemon mead. As compared to sugar, honey will take longer for brewing aging. Lemon mead is required to be aged for about 6 months instead of 3 for lemon wine.
To make a rhubarb mead, you simply have to substitute rhubarb. A traditional Finnish drink called Sima contains carbonated lemon soda and is fermented for a few days prior to drinking it on the new year.
How to make Limoncello?
Limoncello is a sweet and tart lemony drink. It can be drunk as is or can be used to jazz up sprinkling water or cocktails. Limoncello is an indigenous drink of Southern Italy.
What alcohol to use?
Ideally, 100 proof vodka or higher-proof grain alcohol is your best bet If you wish to make the perfect light and smooth limoncello. These types of an alcohol extract the maximum flavor from the lemon peels and you end up with a very intense lemon flavor in your drink which is what you want.
However, 80 proof vodka can also be used for this purpose. With this type of vodka, you will need less sugar syrup.
What lemons to use?
Regular lemons work absolutely fine for limoncello. Unlike organic lemons, non-organic lemons are coated with wax which facilitates extraction. The drawback of using regular lemons is that the pesticides and insecticides on the surface of the lemons will also leech into the alcohol.
If we had to suggest a particular type that can’t go wrong, Meyer lemons come to mind. They make an excellent limoncello. If you like experimenting, use grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines instead of lemons.
- 10 organic lemons, washed and dried
- 1 750-ml bottle vodka (100-proof preferred, or 80-proof)
- 1 to 4 cups sugar, to taste
- Vegetable peeler (or Microplane or zester)
- Paring knife
- 1-quart jar or another similar-sized container with a lid
- Large coffee filter
- 4-cup measuring cup
- Small funnel
- 2 clean 16-ounce bottles or several bottles equalling a similar volume
- With the help of a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the outer yellow part of the lemons leaving the pith intact. Remove any larger pieces of the pith using a paring knife.
- In a 1-quart jar, add vodka followed by the lemon peels. Tightly close the jar.
- Let the lemons infuse into the vodka for at least 4 days or as long as 1 month. The longer you wait, the more lemony your limoncello will be.
- Place a large coffee filter on a strainer and adjust the strainer over a 4-cup measuring cup. Filter the infused vodka. Stir If the flow blocks.
- In a saucepan, add 1 cup water and 1 cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the syrup cool down.
- Add the sugar syrup into the infused filtered vodka. Taste check and add more syrup If neecassary.
- Insert a funnel in the neck of a bottle and fill It with your limoncello.
- Drink the limoncello after 4 hours of refrigeration for a refreshing taste. It can be kept in the fridge for about a month and in the freezer for up to a year. Always keep in a cool and dark place.
In this article, we answered the question “Can you make alcohol from lemons?”, and how to make Limoncello?