Traditional Limoncello with Berries & The Bramble

Traditional Limoncello (with berries!)

8 organic lemons (it's important to use organic, since you are using only the peels for limoncello!)
1 pint fresh berries, sliced or lightly muddled if possible
1 bottle of grain alcohol (750ml), such as Everclear or Gem Clear
3 1/2 cups of white sugar
3 cups water

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove just the peels from the outside of the lemons, being careful not to include any of the white pith. (Reserve your lemons for making Brambles! See recipe below.)
  2. If using strawberries, slice them. If using raspberries or blueberries, lightly muddle them just to break the outside; don't pulverize. Add the peels and berries to a gallon jar with a tight fitting lid.
  3. Pour in the bottle of grain alcohol, and seal the lid tightly. Set aside for 4 to 7 days. You should notice the color bleeding out of the fruits. (The berries will turn very pale. Warning: Don't think it would be a good idea to eat these later. They will set you on fire!) After the infusion time has occurred, make your syrup. Bring water to a boil and add sugar, leaving on stove just long enough to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly, then add to jar with infusion. Allow to sit over night, then strain the fruit out. Funnel into sterilized decorative bottles and store in refrigerator.
  4. 'Cellos are best served ice cold!

The Bramble

2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice (use lemons from above)
1/2 oz. simple syrup (See method above, make a little extra with your limoncello recipe, and
reserve for use here)
1/2 oz. berry marinade, creme de cassis
fresh mulberries
crushed ice

  1. In a small bowl, marinate 1 pint of fresh mulberries or blackberries in 1 cup creme de cassis.
  2. Crush enough ice to fill your cocktail glasses, using either a mechanical ice crusher or by wrapping ice in a towel and cracking it against a hard surface.
  3. Combine gin, lemon juice and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into crushed ice filled cocktail glass. Drizzle 1/2 oz. of cassis from fruit bowl over drink and allow to filter through crushed ice for a beautiful presentation. Top with 3 or 4 marinated mulberries to garnish, and a sprig of fresh mint, if desired. Enjoy with friends.