How to turn unwanted lemon zest into limoncello – recipe | Food

Zero waste wizard Benjamin Pryor is co-founder and head mixologist of our Poco restaurant in Bristol. Our chef Ian Clark rarely leaves him much surplus food to play with, but Ben often turns what’s left into house cocktails and infusions.

Used citrus peels are one thing we have in abundance. To make use of this surplus, Ben created a gin with local Psychopomp distillery using our excess organic lemon zest and fodder burdock and sea buckthorn. This gin now forms the basis of our house G&T, which also features our own homemade tonic. Limoncello is another classic recipe for using used lemon peels and has become our go-to digestif as a result, especially since we love being able to serve a zero-waste liqueur that we’ve made in-house.

Ben says it’s best to peel and store the lemon zest in the freezer while you use the lemons, until you have enough to make a batch of limoncello, because spent lemon peels go bad quickly otherwise. He also says that this recipe, while strong, can be easily diluted by adding up to 500ml of filtered water, for a lower alcohol content and less potent flavor.

little limoncello

We use organic, unwaxed lemons to avoid excess pesticides and fungicides in this, our go-to digestif, typically served as a chilled drink straight from the freezer; it’s also delicious topped with sparkling water and served over ice like an alcoholic lemonade. Even after it has been used to make the limoncello, the spent lemon zest can still be used in desserts or jams in place of regular lemon zest; just remember that it will also have a hint of alcohol. Freeze used limoncello lemon zest on a baking sheet, then pack in an airtight container and freeze to use within six months.

See also  How evil are weevils? A Guide to Control Pantry Pests | australian food and drink

10 organic unwaxed lemons
750ml vodka
300 g of agave syrup

Peel the zest of 10 organic lemons, being careful to remove only the zest, because the white pith can be very bitter. Put the zest in a 1,200ml bottle, add the vodka and leave to infuse (out of direct sunlight) for at least 48 hours for a mild-tasting limoncello, and up to six weeks for a very strong, intense-tasting limoncello; Regardless of how long you give it, be sure to shake the brew every day. Once infused, strain the lemon zest from the liquid well, then return the alcohol to the jar with the agave syrup. Shake well to combine, then seal and store in the freezer, ready to serve cold.

Leave a comment