A citrus sipper to save for summer
By Simon McGoram
Photography by Steve Brown
Presented by Matteo Fabbris
Limoncello in the middle of winter you say? Well, whilst this mellow, yellow lemon flavoured liqueur might be a favourite when served chilled during our sweltering summer now is the time you might want to take a look at making you own.
Australia’s citrus season is at its peak right now with mandarins, oranges and lemons all in fresh and juicy abundance. Whilst citrus enjoys a long almost continuous growing season in Australia it’s right when we need its cooling tang the most that lemons and limes go up in price and out of season.
“Australia’s citrus season is at its peak right now with mandarins, oranges and lemons all in fresh and juicy abundance.”
The Eureka lemon which suits Australia’s warm climate stops producing just in January and February making it the most popular supermarket variety, but for this recipe you’re best to get hold of the hardy Meyer lemon. The Meyer which thrives in cooler climates is common in back yards in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. The Meyer lemon is preferable due to its similarity to Sicilian lemons being less acidic and more fragrant than the popular Eureka variety. In saying that, be sure to experiment with a variety of citrus to come up with your house favourite.
Citrus aside, another deviation you might want to make from traditional Sicilian limoncello recipes lies with your base spirit. Pomace brandy and, more often than not, high proof rectified spirits are used to produce authentic homemade limoncellos. Whilst rectified spirit can be purchased in Australia readily at 96 percent ABV it can cost upwards of $70 for a 500ml bottle – already prohibitive without considering taste. We’ve gone for a well priced premium vodka – our advice is not to use something you wouldn’t drink on its own.
Prepare up to one month in advance.
6 Meyer lemons (or Eureka in a pinch)
750ml Absolut Vodka
300ml Sugar syrup 1:1