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Middle Kingdom Limoncello

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Shelley

It sounds lovely. I don't touch alcohol so its not for me, but the lemony citrous flavour sounds good.

 

A tall glass with ice and home-made lemonade brings back memories of summers in Ohio by the pool. Yummy:P

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Tomsima

This is fantastic! Definitely gonna give it a try, off to the market I go tomorrow! Will have to post an update when mines done, thanks for posting!

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ChTTay

Yes, once I get back to Beijing after Xmas I’m going to try this! Certainly will make an unusual drink to bring to a party. 

 

Great stuff 

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abcdefg
On 12/13/2017 at 6:37 AM, Shelley said:

A tall glass with ice and home-made lemonade brings back memories of summers in Ohio by the pool. Yummy

 

In the process of harvesting the peels to make the limoncello, one winds up with lots of freshly-peeled lemons and oranges. They are a noble byproduct of the process and I use them for a big batch of lemonade, while usually just eating the oranges.

 

I use local Yunnan honey to make it, bought from the honey store around the corner where they offer a dozen different kinds in large floor-standing vats. Each honey comes from a colony of bees that is working primarily near a certain kind of flower. So the taste of this honey is not the same as that honey. 

 

So sometimes I buy rose flower honey, other times jasmine or clover. Recently the 枣花蜂蜜 has been excellent, made from the flowers that cover the jujube date trees (zao hua) before the fruit sets and becomes first 青枣 and eventually 红枣。The owner and his wife let me spend time tasting the various honey before making the decision to commit to one kind or another. 

 

Here he is topping me up yesterday morning. The honey is sold by weight, since some kinds are more dense than others. These honeys have been filtered, but otherwise not processed. 

 

IMG_20171213_110735.thumb.jpg.14a31173f1c5e42a2706a9c3a77e3572.jpg

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Alex_Hart

Looks like a lovely recipe, abcd. I would never have thought to use 白酒 for it, but I will definitely be trying this somewhere down the line!

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abcdefg
17 minutes ago, Alex_Hart said:

I would never have thought to use 白酒 for it...

 

Baijiu 白酒 distilled from grain, such as 二锅头 which is made from sorghum, works well. I don't think 白酒 made from rice would have a suitable taste.  

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ChTTay

I’ve got a small batch on the go right now. I had no container suitable though so just used a 5L NONGFU water bottle that had a wide mouth. It’s just going to be brewing a week so should be okay I think. 

 

Will post a photo photo of the finished product along with a taste test! 

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abcdefg

That should work fine. I always have to wind up improvising at some point along the way too. Hope that your batch is a success! Look forward to a "user review."

 

I'm in the US now on my annual trip. When I get back to Kunming, I plan to try it again and this time let it steep a really long time. Would like to see first hand whether that makes a difference in how smooth it tastes. 

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Alex_Hart
23 hours ago, ChTTay said:

I’ve got a small batch on the go right now. I had no container suitable though so just used a 5L NONGFU water bottle that had a wide mouth. It’s just going to be brewing a week so should be okay I think. 

 

The use of a plastic bottle sounds more authentically "Middle Kingdom" anyway. Drank a lot of home distilled baijiu this way. I also buy my cooking wine from a neighborhood auntie who just puts it in plastic bottles - I've always wondered if she just picks up bottles off the street, but have been too afraid to ask.

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ChTTay
2 hours ago, Alex_Hart said:

Drank a lot of home distilled baijiu this way

 

You mean you have brewed BaiJiu? Or just had it like that?

 

yeah, the plastic bottle was the cheapest way I could come up with. Juice bottle was a better size but I don’t drink juice really. 

 

I don’t have a nice glass bottle for the end product though. Likely a green S.Pellegrino bottle!

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Alex_Hart
12 hours ago, ChTTay said:

You mean you have brewed BaiJiu? Or just had it like that?

 

Definitely isn't me brewing it! I'm often offered home distilled 白酒 while visiting friends or meeting new people, especially in smaller villages. Even at weddings, many guests bring their own 白酒 because they think it tastes better than the stuff you can buy. Unless it's a special occasion, the alcohol invariably is poured out of a large 农夫山泉 bottle. I usually feel guilty declining a glass.

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abcdefg

What I get offered a lot when eating at friends homes is home-made fruit liquors, which have been made by steeping fruit and sugar in cheap generic baijiu, purchased in bulk. Thinking back, nearly every home I visit for a meal here seems to have some. The exceptions would be young working couples, who are too busy to do much in the kitchen. 

 

The most common kind here (Kunming) by a wide margin is one made from Yangmei 杨梅 in the late spring and early summer. I've tried my hand at it. Easy if you have access to the fresh fruit and it tastes pretty good. Of course it's fruity and sweet, so might not appeal to all tastes. 

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/54402-yang-mei-season-杨梅-the-chinese-bayberry/ 

 

Here the glass or plastic jugs for making and storing home made liquors are easily available in the market and even in supermarkets like WalMart and Carrefour. They come in a large range of sizes and shapes; generally inexpensive, starting at about 10 Yuan. 

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Alex_Hart
On 1/28/2018 at 11:27 PM, abcdefg said:

What I get offered a lot when eating at friends homes is home-made fruit liquors, which have been made by steeping fruit and sugar in cheap generic baijiu, purchased in bulk. Thinking back, nearly every home I visit for a meal seems to have some. The exceptions would be young working couples, who are too busy to do much in the kitchen. 

 

I had this in Lijiang. I had come down with a rather frightful case of food poisoning - 4 days totally bedridden and unable to hold down even the most watered down congee, rich and spicy foods caused painful cramps for another month or two after that - spent my layover time a week later in Kunming eating toast for every meal. Owner of the hostel was a jovial Chinese guy and brought me glasses of 杨梅 liquor often. The smell was enough to send me scurrying to the bathroom, but he kept coming back! My bunk mate was a Spanish man traveling around China with his guitar and he similarly tried to cure my food poisoning my blowing "Dalifornia" marijuana smoke in my face. 

 

I did taste it a few times, there and elsewhere. Usually tastes pretty good, though some have tasted rather funky. Definitely preferable to some of the Chinese medicine infusions I've had.

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ChTTay

So I made and drank my BaiJiu Limoncello!

 

Worked pretty well I thought and the amount came out almost exactly 750ml: perfect for the old glass Perrier water bottle I was using.

 

I made it for a friends stag do so between 7 of us it was gone in about 20 minutes. Actually, it still tastes very “BaiJiu” to me and I didn’t really like it haha it was certainly a more mellow flavour though. Luckily my friends liked it more than me. 

 

I think it would work well mixed with 北冰洋 orange soda. 

 

The process was easy though and I’d be pretty interested in trying it again, perhaps with more citrus and more sugar and leaving it for longer. I’d also be interested in trying to add other fruits. 

 

No photos unfortunately but it came out looking like ABCDEFG’s! 

 

I’d definitely recommend doing this though. Bring it to a party or give it to someone Chinese as a more thoughtful gift. I noticed Carrefour has glass bottles with those plastic cork style tops  that some beers use. I was tempted but I didn’t think I could bring it back. 

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abcdefg
11 hours ago, ChTTay said:

I think it would work well mixed with 北冰洋 orange soda. 

 

Glad it came out more or less OK. Letting it stand longer does improve the smoothness and make it have less of that rough Baijiu mouth feel 口感。

 

Sounds like a good idea. I've mixed it with tonic water 汤力水 in a tall glass with ice cubes. That is a good warm-weather drink, and the tonic makes it less sweet. 

 

My favorite way to drink this is at night as a hot toddy. Several slices of ginger in a coffee mug. Add a couple jiggers of limoncello, top with boiling water. The ginger-lemon mix of flavors is traditional here. Also supposed to have some health properties. Warms you up on a cold night. 

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ChTTay

My friends all enjoyed it for the most part. Regardless of the flavour, it’s still 56% or whatever so it’s going to have some bite! 

 

Ever done anything with dates or other dark/red fruits? I feel like that would be good too. 

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abcdefg
8 hours ago, ChTTay said:

Ever done anything with dates or other dark/red fruits? I feel like that would be good too. 

 

Never tried dates or similar. Have made some with yangmei 杨梅 and one batch using yangmei plus mango. The plain yangmei liqueur was better than the combo. When making these I leave the fruit in the finished product instead of straining it out. It remains good to eat for several months; alcohol infused. 

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