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Literary Limoncello

Ahh summer! The time of year that lazy days spent in the hammock or somewhere glamorous are glorified by romantic films and influencers alike. A great book with a cocktail or cool drink and time to dream are life’s beautiful, little luxuries.


Recently I had the unusual chance to drop everything and run off to Europe for a few weeks. Did I take it? Umm, heck yeah. Wouldn’t you?


This sort of thing doesn’t really happen to me and I plan and research and save for my wild-n-wooly adventures, but this time it was totally spontaneous and 100% amazing. The story ideas are popping! I will leave a few pictures for you to enjoy and also get right to the point.

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting Axon Drift, my new release. It’s been doing very well and I cannot say how exciting it is to have something I worked on for hours, days and months to be read and appreciated by others. Every writer knows exactly what I mean, and secretly wishes that all the voracious readers out there knew this too! I am grateful to the Literati for your constant support. You are awesome! If you love my content, but for some reason you haven't subscribed, please consider doing do so here!

Get in touch and let me know how your summer is going!


I'm working on lots of other projects and have at least one new, full-length novel coming out in the fall, and possibly two. Stay tuned! Spooky fans of haunted mansions, the paranormal, and gothic lovers will be all over these two new projects.


So, here’s a bonus I wanted to send your way. Between Aperol spritzes and Limoncello, I’ve been obsessed with lemons ever since it got hot outside and took the time to buy a glass crock and find a bottle of everclear, so I could make homemade limoncello. To me this drink is the essence of summertime in coastal Italy, summer anywhere, actually. Read the directions before buying the supplies, as this recipe is a time commitment. If you have health risks, are underage, pregnant, or nursing, this recipe is not for you. Thank you for drinking responsibly.

Literary Limoncello



7 organic lemons

1 - 750 ml (fifth) bottle of Everclear 190 proof or good vodka at least 100 proof


Simple syrup for bottling day:

2 C granulated sugar

2 C filtered water

1 dash pink Himalayan, sea salt



1 medium sized glass, ceramic crock or glass canning jar, as long as it has a rubber-sealed lid

1 vegetable peeler

3-4 small to medium sized glass bottles with rubber or cork stoppers. (I found some inexpensive ones on Amazon with pretty Limoncello labels)

1 small funnel

1 medium mesh sieve

1 unbleached coffee filter

1 cutting board



Wash and dry the lemons thoroughly. Remove price stickers etc. Be sure to use organic, because the distilling process is drawing everything from the lemon’s skin and you do not want nasty pesticides in your gorgeous limoncello.


Peel each lemon and try your best not to get a lot of the white pith on it, because it is sour. Chunk the peels into your crock, pour the entire bottle of everclear or vodka over the peels. This is highly flammable stuff, so please use your common sense and keep it safely away from heating elements, open flame, children, pyromaniacs and pets.


Cover with lid and set it away in a cool, dark place, like a storage pantry or cupboard you don’t often use, for one week, to a month. You will know it’s ready when the lemon peels are ghostly white and the liquid is a startling neon yellow. Everclear takes exactly a week, vodka will take longer because of the lower alcohol content. My peels were basically petrified, so brittle they could snap in half like a cracker and had no essence left in them.


Don’t waste the leftover lemons and make a big batch of homemade lemonade or lemon picatta for dinner.


1 week-to a month later…

Bottling day:

Prepare your bottles, wash, clean and dry them, sterilization is moot, considering that everclear could scrub the rust off Old Ironsides. Go find your funnel.

Make your simple syrup. In a small saucepan, add two cups of white sugar to two cups of distilled water. Add a dash of salt. The salt adds a piquant twist, if you prefer a softer taste, just skip the salt. Stir completely and bring to a boil, turn heat down to low. Stir until all sugar granules have vanished. Set aside to cool.


While you wait for the syrup to cool, strain the lemon peels out of your solution by setting your strainer up. Insert the coffee filter in the mesh strainer, set or hold over a large glass measuring cup or batter bowl that has a spout. If you’re clumsy with things like this, a large ladle or a glass one cup measure with a pour spout are other ways to control how much liquid is going into the strainer at a time.


Once you have the lemon peels strained out, toss them away in the trash. Now it’s time to make your specialized mix.


Remember that you can always add, but you can’t take away. Your tastebuds will dictate this part, the more syrup, the sweeter it will be. I ended up using all of the syrup, and even with that it's mighty powerful stuff.


In small increments, add the syrup to the lemon solution. (I would start with one cup of syrup and go from there.) Give, the mix a good stir and have a taste with a clean teaspoon. Once, you have it exactly the way you like it, use the funnel and fill your bottles. Store in the freezer (for at least four hours after bottling before first use.) Give it a good shake with the cap on before collecting the car keys. Serve in crystal whisky glasses over crushed ice: 1 oz limoncello, 6 oz sparkling or flavored (zero sugar) mineral water and add a fruit garnish or lemon twist. For something even more bespoke, try adding rose, or coconut fizzy water. Will stay good for a year, if bottled properly and stored in the freezer.


Chances are you might have some sugar syrup left. No worries! Store it in the fridge for up to a month in a tightly sealed jar and use for fast strawberry shortcake or anything else needing a dash of sweetness, iced coffee, breafast cereal etc.


I'll bet you’re asking yourself if this recipe is worth it? Yes, yes it really is. Enjoy! Get outside, chillax with a book and play. Take care out there. Until next time, find your Peace, Love, Hustle and then Read or Write. - XoXo Bibiana


"All heroines, all the time."

@blackcalyxbooks Watch BOOK PREVIEWS

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