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Whoever said that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade clearly never tasted limoncello.

You can make the after-dinner liquer with this recipe from local winemaker and home brew guru Scott Mansfield’s new book, Strong Waters: a Simple Guide to Making Beer, Wine, Cider, and Other Spirited Beverages at Home.

It’s even better than moonshine.

Makes about a quart

Zest of six lemons (either regular or Meyer)
1½ c. sugar
About 1 qt. vodka

1. Peel lemons and scrape the white pith from peels so that only zest remains.

2. Put zest in a 1-quart jar, add sugar and enough vodka to fill the container. Screw on the lid and store in a dark place.

3. After one month, strain through cheesecloth to remove zest. Return liquid to jar and add enough vodka to top it off.

4. Serve very cold after an Italian dinner.

Note: If you have at least four people at the table, prepare to go through a bottle.

Mansfield is teaching a series of mixology classes starting this Saturday at Workshop, 1798 McAllister Street, at Baker Street (415-874-9186 or workshopsf.org). For more recipes, order Strong Waters online.

Photo: Katja_DLaM / Flickr 

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1798 McAllister St
@ Baker St
San Francisco, CA 94115