Arizona is blessed with great citrus trees that produce fruit starting right after the holidays. One of the challenges of this is that everyone seems to have far too many lemons, all at the same time. Since there is only so much lemonade (and lemon poppy seed dressing) that you can make, we decided to tap into Scott's heritage to make Italian Limoncello.
1 bottle (750 mL) Vodka
2 cups sugar
2.5 cups water
Wash lemons with hot water to remove any pesticide or wax, pat dry. Zest lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel (Note: use only the outer part of the rind, as the white pith is bitter). In a large (1 gallon) glass jar, add the bottle of vodka and lemon zest. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 10 days. As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly takes on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.
After the 10 days, in a large saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook until thickened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let syrup cool before adding to the Limoncello mixture. Add to the limoncello, and allow to rest another 10 days.
After the rest period, strain and bottle, discarding the lemon zest.