Possibly emboldened by the success of our last batch of limoncello this past spring, or more so by the evaporation of our last bottle, the Mayor of Rocky Hill and I set out to top that triumph with an extra dose of creativity. Having tweaked our formula of lemons, sugar, water and alcohol to sheer perfection, the Mayor suggested we do a lime-cello version using the skin of some organic limes instead of lemons in our fall production.
Research from a myriad of online references showed no successful creation of what seemed like a logical, and yet simple, extension of the famed Italian limoncello. And it wasn’t until after we got started on peeling day that we might have discovered (almost too late) what the monkey in the wrench was.
Removing lemon peels without the bitter white pith is one thing, but trying to replicate that same, simple task with limes was a bit more of a challenge. That white pith is the difference between a good limoncello and a sour, almost rancid one.Lemons are obviously bigger and often more plush, while limes are not only smaller but oftentimes much firmer. Detaching the piths from those green little suckers was the pits.
Although, we put forth a decent effort, in the end we decided it best not to risk an entire batch of citrus and alcohol by getting to the point of no return and instead settled on a compromise using half lemon and half lime. Thus is born lemon/lime-cello or at least we hope so. Stay tuned as the Phase Two addition of the hooch’s simple syrup takes place at month’s end. The color is developing nicely and it won’t be long before we know if we’ve encountered a Eureka moment or a yucky one.