The Judgement of Italy: a Homemade Limoncello Tasting

Continued from Homemade Limoncello: Italian Moonshine

 

Of course we needed to taste all the limoncello we just made!  We made two limoncellos with different lemon varieties and two limoncellos with herbs.  Compare those four with two limoncellos from Italy and you’ve got yourself an impromptu party!  Between the four of us, we tasted six limoncellos in a style similar to a wine tasting, and concluded a near general consensus.

 

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Here’s what we tasted:

 

  1. Distillerie Franciacorta Lemoncel Limoncello, Italy (control)
  2. Limoncello di Katy (homemade with lemon peels and Texas vodka)
  3. Limoncello di Sheila (homemade with lemon zest and Texas vodka)
  4. Rosemary Limoncello (homemade with lemon zest and everclear)
  5. Thyme Limoncello (homemade with lemon zest and everclear)
  6. Baba Napoletani Limoncello, Italy (control)

 

Our thoughts:

 

  1. Distillerie Franciacorta Lemonel Limoncello, Italy (control)
    • Yum, strong
    • Sweetest smelling, smoother than Baba
    • Perfect
    • Sharp, lemony fresh
  2. Limoncello di Katy (homemade with lemon peels and Texas vodka)
    • Herbal…really?
    • More astringent, where did the oregano come from?
    • Oregano, smooth, pastalicious
    • Oregano, sharp
  3. Limoncello di Sheila (homemade with lemon zest and Texas vodka)
    • Smooth, can taste slight orange
    • Oranges! Sweet, smooth
    • Organge, mmm
    • Lemon/orange, creamsicle, smooth
  4. Rosemary Limoncello (homemade with lemon zest and everclear)
    • Strong flavor, reminds me of scotch
    • Spicy
    • Bold, meh
    • Vile, acidic, high burn, no
  5. Thyme Limoncello (homemade with lemon zest and everclear)
    • Surprisingly good (really good), smoother than rosemary limoncello
    • Initial burn then smooth, sweet flavor
    • Bold, ok
    • Lemon pine-sol, burn, sweet, good
  6. Baba Napoletani Limoncello, Italy (control)
    • Yum, smooth
    • Grainier than Lemonel
    • Smooth, bold, mmm
    • Disinfectant, moonshine

 

Final thoughts:

 

  • Meyer lemon limoncello was the crowd favorite, with thyme limoncello being a surprising favorite as well
  • While zested lemon peel releases more of the oil and clouds the limoncello (as it should), we tended to prefer the peeled lemon that yielded the clearer limoncello.  Even with fine grade cheese cloth, it didn’t completely strain the organics from the zested lemon peel, and too much sediment remained
  • Texas vodka yielded a smoother limoncello than everclear (duh)
  • The herb limoncello needed either more of something (simple syrup?) or less of something (herbs?) because it was very strongly flavored
  • No matter the result, drink it anyway…you made it!

 

  

 

1 Comment

  1. Stacy Green says:

    Sheila, as a maker of DIY limoncello, I would love to have your recipe, and also any thoughts on why at least one batch earned its “pine-sol” comment. I’ve been having the same problem with my limoncello and recently learned that lemon has “pinene” compounds that can lend that pine flavor to limoncello. So I’m wondering why some limoncello ends up enhancing that aspect and others don’t.

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