Homemade Liqueurs with Herbs: Fresh Rosemary and Lemon Liqueur

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Makes about 1 quart
This fresh rosemary and lemon liqueur recipe is a variation on the Italian limoncello. For a more complex, perfumy version, substitute ½ cup fresh lemon verbena or lemon balm leaves for one or two of the lemons.

  • Grated zest and juice of 5 large lemons
  • 1 liter vodka
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 4 or 5 inches long)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon glycerin (available at drugstores, optional)
  1. Place lemon zest, juice, vodka and rosemary in a clean glass jar or bottle. Cover and let macerate in a cool, dark place for 1 month or more, giving the mixture a shake every few days.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Boil until sugar has completely dissolved. Let cool.
  3. Strain vodka mixture through a coffee filter into a clean jar or bottle with an airtight lid. Sweeten to taste with the sugar syrup. If desired, add a little glycerin as a smoother. Cover and age at least 2 weeks. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 1 year. Serve ice cold in small glasses.

Leah A. Zeldes is food editor of Chicago’s Lerner Newspapers.

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