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Meyer lemon, ginger and vanilla liqueur

It’s been many years since I’ve made my own alcoholic fruit infusions, and this being a boom Meyer lemon year encouraged me to get back into the habit. Sure, there are many recipes around for limoncello, but I wanted something different. Something with a bit more kick (ginger!), yet a bit more floral (vanilla!). I’ve enjoyed Canton liqueur, but my recipe doesn’t have its honey syrupiness. I’ve also savor the razor sharpness that is Stone’s Green Ginger Wine. But again, this is not that kind of recipe. It is delicious, yet my own. 😉

a bottle of meyer lemon, ginger & vanilla liqueur

I reused a 750ml flip-top bottle that contained French soda bought at Whole Foods. The yield was approximately more than 500ml. The liqueur infused for 55 days; next time I’ll probably infuse it for 40 to 45 days, as the liquid became cloudy and difficult to filter to clarity. Instead, just let the bottle stand undisturbed for a few days for most bits to settle. Tasted nice!


  • 1 pound Meyer lemons, about 5 fruits, depending on their size
  • 2 ounces peeled and roughly chopped ginger root
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups vodka; used Ketel One, available at Trader Joe’s
  • 3 1/2 ounces vanilla sugar
  • 4 ounces sugar


  1. Zest the lemons; I used a vegetable peeler instead of a microplane to make wide strips of zest. Keep those lemons, though, for the syrup in step 3. Place the zest and ginger root in a clean, 1 pint (or bigger) jar.
  2. Fill jar with vodka, cap off. Set aside to infuse, undisturbed in a cool, dark place like a pantry closet. Test every 1 or 2 weeks until desired strength is reached.
  3. Make the syrup ahead of time: Squeeze the juice from the lemons into a measuring jug and keep about 1/2 cup juice.
  4. Place the lemon juice and vanilla and granulated sugars in a small sauce pan. Dissolve over low heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool to the touch, and store in covered container in the fridge until the next step.
  5. When the ginger+lemon+vodka infusion has reached your desired strength, pour through a fine strainer into a large glass or ceramic bowl. Stir in as much or as little of the vanilla+lemon syrup as desired; I used all of it, fwiw. Then pour the liqueur into a bottle — I used a couple layers of cheesecloth lining a funnel — for storage until ready to use.

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