I just realized I'm on my last bottle of limoncello. Last year at about this time I made a batch and gave away most of it—but of course saved a few bottles for my own enjoyment! I know lots of people make it to give as Christmas gifts, but I think of lemon drinks as warm-weather fare. Anyhow, it's not hard to make, but you have to be patient.
15 thick-skinned lemons
2 750-ml bottles 100-proof vodka*
4 cups sugar
5 cups water
*I use Smirnoff—don't bother buying the really fancy stuff. But note that 100-proof Smirnoff comes in 1-liter bottles, so you'll actually be using 1.5 bottles.
Scrub lemons well to remove any pesticides or wax. Pat lemons dry and zest them. Be sure there is no pith on your strips of zest. (I use a vegetable peeler to get nice, long strips.) Pour one bottle of the vodka into a large glass jar (at least 4 quarts) and add the zest. Cover tightly and leave the jar in a cool, dark place for 40 days. Yes, 40 days.
After 40 days, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool before adding it to the jar, along with the other bottle of vodka. Cover and return the jar to the cool, dark place for another 40 days. Yes, another 40 days.
Finally, strain the limoncello into bottles and discard the lemon zest. Store the bottles in the fridge or freezer and serve over ice. Cin-Cin!
Note: I also like to juice the 15 lemons after zesting them—I get about a quart, which can either be used right away or frozen in an ice cube try to be used as needed later.