Monday Night Martha: Limoncello

What would the holiday season be without a festive homemade liqueur? This limoncello recipe comes from Martha herself, and it's a very easy one -- particularly when you make a few adjustments.

In terms of the odder supplies, all you really need is a great big jar, a grater (a really good one!), a strainer, a funnel and some cute bottles. The bottles were the hardest find -- last year Ikea had great stopper-topped bottles for $2, but this year the cheapest we could find were cork-topped and flowered for $4 at Cost Plus -- considerably smaller, which we figured would even out in terms of expenses.

(Who knows. It's too depressing to keep a tally.)

We follow the recipe pretty closely, with just a couple exceptions:

First, we've consulted with several chefs (albeit amateur) and it's been determined you don't need to refrigerate the limoncello during the creation process, which is good since a. we forgot to this year and b. when you're quadrupling a recipe it's hard to fit all that booze in your fridge. Martha does recommend storing in the freezer and consuming within three months, which we easily accomplished last year.

Second, while Martha calls for 160 proof vodka, we recommend 80 proof. Seriously, the 80 proof is so strong most people can't drink the stuff straight -- we're afraid something (like your liver) would catch fire if you tried making (and drinking) it any stronger.

Good luck and don't cut yourself with the grater. No one likes a bloody limoncello -- though we can't wait to adjust this recipe for blood orange season.  


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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at