Thursday, 20 December 2012

Grapefruit Gratitude

On my trip to Italy, way back in 2005, when my dear friend Wenone and I walked to the top of Mt Vesuvius, I tried my first shot of Limoncello. We purchased it from this souvenir shop right next to the volcanic crater.. crazy I know! But YUMMMMM!! This drink became a celebratory shot for the rest of the holiday. I grew rather fond of it and brought a number of bottles home with me. I had heard it was quite easy to make, but had not had a lemon crop worthy of the effort.
After returning from our recent holiday, our grapefruit tree was heavy with its first ever crop. 25 beautiful big grapefruits. Our citrus trees were some of the first we planted in out garden, I love them. They are evergreen, lush looking and have the most divine sent when in flower. I ADORE the sent of Neroli and can often be seen with my head in the flowering tree, breathing deeply. Not to mention the delicious and versatile fruit!

My Mum who has inherited many citrus trees, with the purchase of their property exclaimed "GRAPEFRUIT! Why would you plant that! Your can't even give them away!" I was determined to show her that I would use them... and use them ALL.
Then and idea hit me! Could I make Limoncello using Grapefruits? I turned to my trusty friend Google and set about re-searching. I came across this great Blog who had exactly what I was after.
Now in Australia it is very hard and at times impossible to get 150 proof alcohol, so I settled with 50% (100 proof) vodka - I can hear the fundamentalists cringing at me already ,but hey I wanted to give it a go :)
So here is how I made Pompelmocello!
Pompelmocello (Grapefruit Liqueur)
10 large organic grapefruit
1.5L of 50% Vodka
3 cups Water
1 1/2 cups Castor Sugar

* Remove peel from clean grapefruits, taking care to avoid as much pith (white stuff) as possible as this will make it bitter.
* Place in a clean and airtight jar and cover with Vodka.
* Leave in a cool and dark place for over a month 40ish days (a good hint I read somewhere was that if the peel can fold in half completely without snapping it is ready to go!)
* Shake every week or so.

*  Once ready, Strain and let drain (over a bowl dont waste the good stuff :))
* Heat sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer until all sugar is dissolved.

* Cool syrup and mix with vodka.

* Bottle, chill and ENJOY!
 I was amazed at how well this turned out and just how DELICIOUS it was!
Just in time for the silly season....
 Now before, I said I was going to use ALL of the Grapefruit, so here is how I used the rest!

Grapefruit and Ginger Cordial
 6 Cups of Grapefruit Juice
3 Cups Castor Sugar
1.5 Cups of Water
3 t of Citric Acid
(Optional, will make it last longer)
2 thumb sized pieces of Ginger
(Optional and vary depending on how much you like Ginger )
* Juice grapefruits and sieve to remove any solids.
* Add Sugar and Water and heat.
* Once sugar is all dissolved, add ginger in thick slices and boil for 15/20 mins until it starts to thicken slightly.
* Take off heat, stir in Citric Acid.
* Strain and pour into clean and sterile bottles.
*Refrigerate or Freeze depending on how fast you will use it... apparently it last for up to 3 months in the fridge, I have never had one go off but it has never lasted 3 months!!

We enjoyed ours with soda water and a little mint but I think it would also be delicious as a mixer for alcoholic drinks. Very summer-y and refreshing.

Well other than the pith we have managed to use every skeric of grapefruit and our taste buds have enjoyed every bit of it! We are already eagerly anticipating next years harvest...


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