Last year, we planted a lime tree and a lemon tree in our yard. I've always wanted to make limoncello, so that was the plan for the lemons. For the limes... margaritas, guacamole, gin & tonics... honestly, I didn't have a concrete plan for the limes.
This year, our lemon tree has produced a handful of fruit. Sadly, not enough for limoncello. Our lime tree on the other hand... it's having LIMES!
Although I had wanted to make limoncello, I figure... when life gives you limes, make lime-cello. (I'm not sure what to call it, actually. The Italian word for "lemon" is "limone" resulting in "limoncello," but the Italian word for "lime" is "calce" and "calcecello" seems weird to me, so I'm just saying "lime-cello" or maybe "lime-n-cello?" I'll take input on this -- comments welcomed.)
Since we had so many limes, we bought a bunch of 100 proof vodka and went to town. We have three large jars, so we divided the limes into 3 groups:
(Some of the baby limes were not much bigger than an acorn! So cute!)
Then I... zested!
And zested and zested and zested...
(Note that I am also using a lime in my gin & tonic while zesting. Mmmm.)
While I was zesting, Bill was busy filtering the vodka through a Brita pitcher (and we joked about things getting dangerous if we were to mistake it for our regular water pitcher):
(I have never smelled 100 proof vodka -- it smells like rubbing alcohol! Bill suggested I drive around town after I spilled some on myself. I declined.)
I used the recipe from LimoncelloQuest -- an amazing blog with true dedication to a perfect limoncello. He's got a recipe for lime-cello right here.
Here it is after I had dumped the lime zest into the vodka...
Shake it up and get... VERY green vodka!
(We did this on Sunday and it has already faded in color, so it won't be that toxic looking when we finish!)
It will have to sit for a few weeks, then we'll mix in simple syrup, let it sit some more, bottle the stuff, and cross our fingers. (We are hoping to give some of this away as gifts, but if it sucks, guess we'll have to keep it for home consumption.)
Of course, we couldn't let all that juice go to waste, so Bill worked hard squeezing all 80 (yes, 80) limes -- he got a full quart of lime juice!
We put it in ice cube trays and froze it. Did someone say margaritas? Mmmm!