Making your own Lemon Cream Liqueur is simple; this recipe is your start to this frosty, creamy, lemony, vanilla, adult dessert in a glass. If creamsicles came in a lemon version, and if they contained alcohol, they would taste like this concoction. It will knock your socks off. Really.
The journey to this recipe began with the gift of a small jar of this brew from a friend. Stored in the freezer (which gives this liqueur it’s thick, frosty consistency), our first taste of homemade Lemon Cream Liqueur was all it took for both Mr. Saucy and me to fall in love. We had to make some of our own. After asking our friend how he made his, and looking at various recipes online, I came up with my own version (of course).
It takes some patience to make this recipe because the alcohol used (190 proof, grain alcohol) must be infused with the lemon. In this step, you steep lemon rind in the alcohol to extract the essential oils from the rind into the alcohol. Using the highest proof alcohol maximizes the extraction of the oils from the rind. Also, using a neutral alcohol (we used Everclear – 95% alcohol by volume, or 190 proof), gives you an unflavored base with which to build your liqueur.
Mr. Saucy stopped by the liquor store and picked up 1.5 liter bottle of Everclear (which was enough to make 6 batches of this recipe). I removed the rind from 7 lemons, being careful to take just the yellow peel and none of the white pith beneath. The pith is bitter and will adversely flavor the liqueur, so using a vegetable peeler is a great way to remove the peel for this project. Just place the peel in the alcohol and wait.
For our first batch, we were in a hurry to make some up to take with us on our holiday to Hilton Head, so I used a cup of the alcohol after having allowed it to steep for 4 days. The second batch steeped for a couple of weeks and it was even more lemony. Eventually, the alcohol will have extracted all of the essential oils from the lemon peels and the peels can be removed.
Once the alcohol has been infused with lemon, the process is simple. I used a mixture of cream and half & half, sugar and vanilla seeds scraped from a pod (the vanilla seeds being optional, but I love seeing the tiny little seeds, plus the extra flavor they add). The cream, sugar and vanilla seeds are brought to a boil so the sugar can dissolve. Once it’s cooled, vanilla extract is added, along with the lemon infused alcohol and some brandy (or Bourbon). Stored in a jar in the freezer, it’s ready to consume! Gingerly.
This, like all liqueurs, is a sipping drink. And, like all alcohol, should be consumed in moderation.
Great as gifts, don’t just make this for yourself. It’s perfect to share and would make for excellent holiday giving!
- BASE FOR SIX BATCHES:
- 1 - 1.5 liter bottle grain alcohol (190 proof - 95%ABV)
- 7 lemons, rinds removed (being careful to get no pith)
- INGREDIENTS FOR ONE BATCH:
- 1 cup of lemon infused alcohol (the longer you steep it, the more lemony it is)
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups half and half
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean pod, seeds removed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup brandy (or Bourbon).
- BASE FOR SIX BATCHES INSTRUCTIONS:
- Place the grain alcohol in a large glass jar, with a lid.
- Add the lemon rinds.
- Put the lid on the jar, and allow to steep for 1 week to 1 month (the liquid will become yellow; once the color has leached from the lemon rind and they are white they can be removed). This will store indefinitely for use in batches, one cup at a time.
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONE BATCH:
- In a large saucepan, add the heavy cream, half and half, sugar and the vanilla seeds (the seeds being optional).
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar and to keep from scorching).
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. The consistency of this is very thick.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Add ONE CUP of the lemon infused alcohol, the vanilla extract and the brandy and stir to combine.
- Place this liquid in a glass bottle, cover and place in the freezer.