Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 29 Jan 2006

The limoncello turned out so well that I decided to try again. This time, I’m doing a single batch (the last one was a double) and instead of lemons I’m using cocktail grapefruit. I’d have tried lime, but Guy originally had intentions to do that (but was thwarted by a lack of good produce). Besides, I really like grapefruit.

My hope is to learn from some of the mistakes from the first batch.

  1. Use an appropriately sized container. The three gallon carboy was almost twice as large as necessary. For the latest batch I’ve acquired a one gallon jug of green glass. It’s cute and kind of makes me feel like a moonshiner when I look at it.
  2. Strainer is good. Strainer + cheesecloth is better. The bottles of limoncello have each ended up with a small “head” of lemon solids on them. Nothing about which to worry, but not all that attractive. Plus it clouds the liqueur when the bottle is shifted.
  3. You don’t have to buy new bottles. Jam making ought to have taught me this, but somehow it escaped me. Eighty days ought to have been enough time for me to get bottles from my various friends and acquaintances. Doing so would have saved me $25 in glass.

The grapefruit I used was not a “strong” variety. It smells and tastes grapefruity, but it’s not the bitter “pass the sugar please” sort we all know and some of us love (without the sugar, even). However, the zest did contain a surprising amount of color and oils (as evinced by my poor recently-white tablecloth), so this batch of liqueur will likely have a good solid flavor and a darker yellow coloring than the limoncello.

At the end of the zesting process I once again had naked fruit with which to contend. I’m still working through the lemon juice generated last time. The situation is nowhere near as dire with the grapefruit. After juicing ten naked cocktail grapefruit I ended up with just shy of a liter of grapefruit juice. As it’s not very acidic and, due to the nature of the fruit used, sweet and tasty, I don’t anticipate that I’ll have any problems getting rid of it in fairly short order. A glass of it sits before me now.