Limoncello is made in homes all over Southern Italy, where lemon trees grow in abundance. Less familiar outside Southern Italy is Rosolio di Limone, a lower-alcohol, sweeter variation of the liqueur that I find makes a better choice for using in desserts, such as Zabaione al Limoncello (page 97) and Biscotti di Ceglie (page 162).
To make limoncello, simply follow the instructions below, using 4 cups (1 L) of water and 2 cups (400 g) of sugar in place of the 6 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar below. An equal quantity of limoncello can be substituted for rosolio di limone in any of the recipes.
As a digestivo (after-dinner drink), both rosolio and limoncello are served cold; once you’ve opened a bottle, store it in the refrigerator or freezer. The alcohol will prevent it from freezing solid.
Here in California, I use Meyer lemons from my garden, but you can use any variety.
If you purchase the lemons, look for ones that have not been sprayed or waxed, the fresher the better.
Remove the peel from the lemons in strips with a vegetable peeler, taking only the yellow part and carefully avoiding even the slightest bit of white pith, which will turn the rosolio bitter.
Pour the alcohol into a clean quart (liter) jar with a tight-fitting lid, such as a European-style canning jar with a rubber gasket and clamp lid. Add the lemon peel.
Close the jar and let steep for 1 week in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or wine cellar.
After the alcohol has steeped, stir the sugar with the water in a large saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. The mixture should be clear. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. (Do not be tempted to rush into the next step; if the sugar syrup is not completely cool, your rosolio will be cloudy.)
Remove the lemon peels from the alcohol (discard the peels) and pour the infused alcohol into the sugar syrup, stirring to combine. Pour the mixture through a finemesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, then decant the rosolio into clean bottles and seal with a cork or lid.
Let the rosolio mature for 15 days in a cool, dark place before using it, then refrigerate.
After cute and sweet, here's a manly cocktail recipe courtesy of James Groetzinger at Warehouse (Charleston, South Carolina) for guys who got dumped and found new love in time for Valentine's Day...
by James Groetzinger – owner and bar manager
2oz Espolon Reposado
1oz hickory smoked cinnamon syrup
0.5oz fresh lemon
2 dashes Tabasco
4oz Spiced Apple Cider
“This drink is insane; It’s my favorite cocktail right now, hands down,” James Groetzinger, co-owner, Warehouse
Espolon Resposado has a long, spicy finish, which is accentuated beautifully by the Tabasco. There is just enough Tabasco to make those flavors pop, with the lemon and apple cider to temper the heat and spice.
(* Recipe and photo courtesy of Warehouse in Charleston, South Carolina)
There is no way I will catch up on all the books from 2013 that I yet have to mention before Midnight on December 31st.
To make a small amend, here's a Kentucky bourbon, apple cider and spices recipe from Pickles, Pigs and Whisky (Andrews McMeel, October 203) by John Currence from Oxford, Mississippi to warm up your blood on a cold day.
Instead of pairing each recipe with a drink, John shows his flawless musical taste by matching them with a song, in this case 'Kentucky Rain' by Elvis Presley.
Serves 8 to 10
I am not sure who the bartender was at City Grocery about 15 years ago who commandeered a Farmer Brothers’ glass coffeepot and started making the City Grocery Spiced Cider, but I do know I want to kiss him. There is very little on this earth better on a cold night than combining warm apple cider and bourbon with a blend of exotic spices. The smell fills the room, and more than a couple of these will put you on your ass. Believe . . .
4 cups apple cider Peel of ½ medium orange Peel of 1 lemon 1 stick cinnamon 4 whole cloves 3 allspice berries 2 cups W. G. Weller bourbon Lemon twists, for garnish Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Combine the cider, orange and lemon peels, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice berries in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for 7 to 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into a coffeepot, discard the solids, and add the bourbon. Serve warm in coffee mugs with a twist of lemon and grated nutmeg.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey' by John Currence -October 2013- published by Andrews McMeel- all rights reserved, Photography by Angie Mosier)
I first discovered absinthe eggnog while attending the annual Fête de Absinthe in tiny Boveresse, Switzerland, near the French-Swiss border. It was a flavor combination so beguiling that I was immediately smitten. The prevailing absinthe in Switzerland is a clear style known as blanche or la bleue, and that is what I’ve recommended here. I advise trying the single cocktail first before committing to the full batch—the flavor profile of absinthe is not for everyone.
1 ½ ounces Tenneyson Absinthe Royale or other blanche absinthe 1 ½ ounces heavy cream ¾ ounce Raw Sugar Syrup (page 135) or Pecan Syrup (page 166) ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 whole egg
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass and shake for a moment without ice (alternatively, use a handheld milk frother to emulsify the ingredients). Add ice and shake vigorously to chill. Strain into a punch cup. You can also make this in a blender by blending all the ingredients with a scant handful of ice until thoroughly emulsified.
(* Recipe from Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State by David Alan- Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2013- reproduced with permission of publisher)
Get le French Feel with Aperitif a la Francaise and many more things happening in the heart of New York (Bryant Park) with Taste of France this week-end (September 28-29).
Aperitif a la Francaise gives you chance to experience
"To celebrate its 10th anniversary Apéritif à la française is taking over the Apéritif area. Visitors will enjoy different atmospheres and traditional drinks such as Pernod Ricard, Absinthe, Calvados, Georges Duboeuf, Vin de Pays d'Oc wines, Kronenbourg beer and French cocktails along with Amuse Bouches prepared with delicious President cheeses. To access the Apéritif area you need to be pre-registredCLICK HERE to be added on the guest list (entrance is free but charge apply for purchase of drinks and food on site using Marianne, the show currency)."
The Bronx dates back to the days of Prohibition, when gang bosses reigned and booze played an important part in the economy of the underworld. Different areas of New York became known for the special cocktails they offered, such as this speciality of the Bronx.
50 ml/2 oz. gin a dash of dry vermouth a dash of sweet vermouth 50 ml/2 oz. fresh orange juice 1 egg white
Shake all the ingredients vigorously over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
(* Recipe from Gatsby Cocktails, Classic Cocktails from the Jazz Age- published by Ryland, Peters & Small, 2012- reproduced with permission)