Food & Drink Part III, or, Tasty Italian Treats

Hopefully third time’s the charm on this one!

This time it’s more mad scientist action, with some Italian flair.  I’m trying to duplicate a great family recipe for limoncello (not my family sadly, but at least I’ve been exposed to it).

The photos below were at 1/80th sec with a flashgun at ISO 400 and wide-open aperture.  Again flash combined with natural light in the background seemed to work well for my purposes.

Post-process flow was as follows: starting in AC RAW, optimize the white balance and exposure to get the best histogram possible, then import.  Try auto-tone/color/contrast and take anything that looks good.  Then go into curves and see what you can get there.  Next, hue and saturation to your liking.  Then brightness and contrast changes as needed.  And finally, if desired, sharpening, either via high pass filter or smart sharpen.

So without further ado, begin with a sack of lemons.

Fresh Lemons
Fresh Lemons

Now peel them all, and get as little pith (the white stuff on the inside) as possible.  Find some other use for a bunch of peeled lemons, too – I ended up juicing them and saving the juice for cooking and cocktails.

Peels, and Leftover Lemons
Peels, and Leftover Lemons

Next, throw the peels in a bowl and add a bottle of Everclear (or the highest grain alcohol by volume you can get your hands on ).  The higher alcohol content means it’ll extract more flavor from the lemon peels.  Sadly California refuses to sell the 198 proof version of this stuff, so mayhap I’ll need to make a liquor store run next time I’m near the Nevada border and try this again.

Time to Soak & Get Boozy
Time to Soak & Get Boozy

Now cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1-2 weeks in a dry, cool place that won’t get direct light.  Do not open!

After two weeks is up, cook up a 4-cup batch of simple syrup (3 parts water 1 part sugar for this).  Remove the peels (drain them so as not to waste the booze!), and add the syrup.

Mixing in the Syrup
Mixing in the Syrup

Stir well, and strain.  Then bottle!

Bottled & Aging
Bottled & Aging

Put back in a cool dark place for a couple more weeks, sometimes shaking the bottles.  After THAT time is up, put the bottles in the freezer until cold.

Serve by the shot, in some nice glassware.  And for God’s sake don’t have more than one, and only after a big meal.  Otherwise it’ll be arrivederci for you!

Dessert Time
Dessert Time
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s