Ingredients for lemon extract
6 medium lemons
1 (750 ml) bottle of vodka
Using a vegetable peeler or a lemon zester, peel the lemons into a container. You will not use the juice and can save it to make some homemade lemonade. The rind is the only part that you need to keep. The white pith on the inside will give the limoncello a bitter taste, so use a knife to scrape away as much as possible.
Place the lemon peels in a sealable quart jar, fill completely with alcohol and seal. Place in a room-temperature, dark place, like a liquor cabinet. Allow the mixture to infuse for at least 4 weeks. Every other day, shake the ingredients. You will start to see the rind lose color as the liquid develops color.
Ingredients for the final liqueur
4 2/3 cups water
3 1/3 cups sugar
1 quart lemon extract
Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the peels from the lemon extract. Discard the peels.
In a 4-quart pot on the stove, mix together the sugar and water and slowly bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
In a large 1-gallon container, mix together the strained lemon extract with the sugar water. Store in this container or transfer to small bottles to give as gifts. Keep the limoncello in a refrigerated location.
The limoncello will mellow a bit and will taste the best after resting for 2 weeks.
You can adjust the sweetness and the strength to your liking by adjusting the amount of simple syrup that is added to the lemon extract. Hope you enjoy!