A couple decades ago, Mattel had the misguided vision to release a talking Barbie doll, one of whose onion-skin-witty quips has apocryphally been forever captured as "Math is hard. Let’s go shopping!" This Barbie and I, we’re, like, BFFs .
I decided to make another batch of Limoncello di Hillsborough, blessed as I was with another bag full of luscious yellow bounty from our friends’ house. This time, I followed my own advice, and made a few modifications to the original attempt: I used thicker slabs of lemon rind with just a little pith attached, to lend a slightly bitter edge, and I used Everclear instead of regular 80-proof vodka, for a much-needed boost in alcohol content to keep it from freezing.
I was going for a double batch this time, and set the peels to infuse in two 750-ml bottles’ worth of high-octane hootch for a couple weeks. After straining off the solids, I set to making my simple syrup. Referring back to my original recipe, I doubled the quantities of water and sugar, totalling 10 c. and 8 c. respectively. As I dumped them into a saucepan to dissolve, I thought, gee, that seems like an awful lot.
Looking back over the recipes I used as reference points for my own version, I realized that the proportion of 4 c. sugar to 5 c. water was meant for a double-batch, and that I had in fact halved that for my single bottle last time.
OK, no harm, no foul. I simply used half of what now turned into three liters of sticky-sweet stuff. Now I had three liters of limoncello and 1.5 liters simple syrup. Did someone say cocktails?
Yes, friends, I can think of worse problems to have than finding yourself with a surplus of simple syrup in the fridge. And so don’t be too terribly surprised to find the occasional cocktail recipe pop up on these pages over the summer.
Math is hard. Let’s have a drink.
Oh, and the limoncello? It’s, like, totally awesome.