Limoncello is one of my favorite drinks. It is tart and lemony and a little bit herbal tasting. Love it. Apparently it’s possible to make your own, except all the recipes I’ve seen involve 40 days of infusing. I’m not that patient.
Thankfully, there are other drinks to be made that do not take quite as long to infuse. A vendor at the farmers market had bunches of lemon verbena for sale recently, so I grabbed some and set to work making Lemon Verbena Elixir from Joanne Weir’s Weir Cooking cookbook. If you’ve never tried lemon verbena, run out and find some now. It is one of the most amazing smelling plants. It smells almost like a lemon tea, but brighter.
This recipe makes a lot. I thought about halving it, but now that I’m enjoying the finished product, I have to say, I’m glad I made the full amount. It’s delicious and I am probably going to tear right through it.
Lemon Verbena Elixir
3 cups packed lemon verbena leaves
2 750 milliliter bottles of vodka
3 cups of sugar
Place the lemon verbena leaves in a large container with one bottle of vodka and place it in a dark spot for 5 days.
After 5 days have passed, bring 4 cups of water to boil and add the sugar. Dissolve the sugar and let cool. I was worried that this would be too sweet, so I initially halved the amount of simple syrup, but later found I really did need all of it. I don’t really like sugary drinks, but this definitely needs all of it.
Add the other bottle of vodka and the cooled simple syrup to the infusing vodka. Return to the dark spot and let it sit for another five days. Transfer it to bottles. You can store the extra bottles wherever you keep your liquor, but you definitely want to be drinking this straight from the freezer. Don’t be fooled by the ugly brown color, it’s really delicious and especially refreshing when it’s icy cold.