15 thick-skinned lemons (Eureka, Lisbon, or Citron)
2 bottles (750 ml) 100-proof vodka
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 cups water
Wash the lemons in hot water before you start. Remove the peel with a vegetable
peeler, removing all white pith on the back of the peel by scraping with a knife,
and put the peels into a 4-quart Mason jar.
Add 1 bottle of vodka and stir. Cover the jar, date it, and put it to rest
in a dark cabinet at room temperature.
After 40 days, take out the vodka-lemon mixture. In a saucepan set over
high heat, stir the sugar and water together and boil for 5 minutes. Let the
sugar syrup cool completely in the pan, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar syrup
to the vodka-lemon mixture along with the second bottle of vodka. Stir well
to combine. Replace the cover on the jar and note the finish date. Return it
to the dark cabinet and store for 40 more days.
At day 80, remove the limoncello from the cabinet. Strain the mixture and
discard the lemon peel.
Pour into clean, unused bottles with caps or decorative corked bottles.
Store the bottles in the pantry, but put one bottle at a time in the freezer
until ready for use.