It’s that time of year again. Yep, we know it’s all prezzies and decorations, Black Fridays and crap themed movies, but the Pièce de résistance of the festive season is the rubber stamp for gluttony. Food and drink, in plentiful supply.It’s also the time of year when beer and wine get some new friends to join them at the table. Baileys? Not just for nanas. Mulled wine? Not just a warm, fuzz inducing antidote to schlepping around the shops. What about limoncello?
Limoncello is something a little bit more Italian and different for the table. We made a few bottles last year, and have to say, they make great presents, with a handmade touch. As long as they’re not downed on the day, it can be brought out all year to drizzle over ice-cream, make a great cream used for desserts, or simply as an aperitif with ice when you feel like it.
The ‘expensive’ part is vodka. But that can range from dirt cheap to eye-wateringly expensive. The upcycle bit is using things like empty cordial bottles. Belvoir bottles are pretty elegant to use. You could even sit down with the kids and make your own labels.
It may not be the cheapest present, but it does mean you do a bit of recycling, you can be creative with labels, bows and ribbons, and you’ve handmade something that’s personal.
Hint: if you have a go, and accidentally decide to use brown sugar instead, that’ll be why it looks like a murky brown colour! (Oops) … but still tastes delish.
For best results, store for 30 days before use, or serve after 7.
Recipe from BBC Good Food
5 unwaxed lemons
1 bottle vodka
750g caster sugar
700ml boiling water
1. Pare the zest from all the lemons, taking care not to include any white pith. Put the zest in a large clean jar and pour over the vodka. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and leave for a week, shaking the jar each day.
2. Put the sugar in a heatproof bowl and pour over the boiling water, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the vodka and peels and leave for a further week, shaking the jar regularly.
3. Strain into decorative bottles, adding a few strips of lemon zest to each bottle.
Written by Gary Lewis who blogs @ Gary Lewis Writer