Living in California I have access to all manner of superior citrus fruit. My own Aunt and Uncle are two of the most amazing citrus farmers you’ll ever meet. You’d think the combination of my Italy-madness and superior citrus fruit would mean I could churn out a decent Limoncello. Apparently not.
There are a number of schools of thought regarding Limoncello. Some people believe you can carefully peel the rind off the citrus fruit, exactingly avoiding the bitter white pith, and then macerate this in the neutral spirit of your choice. Others believe you need to suspend the entire, untouched fruit over the spirit in a type of cheesecloth hammock. I am experimenting with my grandmother’s Meyer Lemons and this method now… should take at least a few more weeks to understand how it is progressing.
Against the advice of any number of more experienced Liomoncello makers (and drinkers) I also attempted to macerated some halved Mexican limes in high- proof vodka as a base for my Lime version of a Limoncello liquor. Mike Tadich, you warned me not to. You told me the result would be bitter from the exposed pith.
I didn’t listen, and you were right.
I found out this morning that those beautiful glass mason jars on my counter were actually harboring a foul, astringent mess. Just the aroma could have told me this was wrong- a tangy, key lime pie-type of curdled scent that could singe your eyebrows.
As disappointed as I was to find my Lime Limoncello Experiment has failed, I will persist in chronicling my Limoncello Adventures until the perfect recipe is crafted.