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Paolo Espositoís Limoncello  
Makes about 2.5 qts  

10 organic lemons, washed and dried
1 L grain alcohol (Everclear)
750 grams (just shy of 3 3/4 cups) sugar
1 L water

Peel the lemons carefully with a sharp paring knife. Keep only the yellow zest, carefully cutting away any white, bitter pith. Slice the lemon peels into thin strips and place them in a large, glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
Pour the Everclear over the lemon peel, tighten the lid of the jar, and gently swirl its contents to distribute the peel and alcohol. Store in a cool, dark place for 10 to 14 days, swirling the jar daily.
When the infusion is ready, strain out the bulk of the lemon peel using a slotted spoon. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a large pan over high heat. When the mixture boils, remove from heat, stir in the lemon peel, and let cool to room temperature. When the simple syrup has cooled, strain out and discard the lemon peel. Carefully mix the syrup with the lemon-infused alcohol, and filter the entire mixture through a funnel lined with several layers of cheesecloth into clean bottles.
As soon as the limoncello is chilled, it is ready to drink. The flavor and texture will be best ice-cold from the freezer. Itís delicious served straight, or in dark chocolate thimbles. Mix it with sparkling water for a refreshing summer cocktail, pour it over vanilla ice cream (and if thereís a brownie under the ice cream, so much the better), toss a spoonful into fruit salad, or flavor cheesecake with it. Whatever you do, donít forget to raise a small, ice-cold glass on a hot summer day and drink a toast to Paolo Esposito.

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