Have you ever had one of those experiences where you stumble upon something great? Something that fits perfectly in a moment in time and continues to impress long after? This was one of those finds for my BF and I. I think I mentioned before that we came across this drink at The Kitchen in Denver and loved it so much that we went back for more at the one here in Boulder. There we discovered some of its secrets. The drink, aptly named the Cane and Abel, combines two liqueurs made by brothers who have developed a bit of a rivalry. In addition, homemade limoncello and lemon juice add the perfect balance of sweetness and that great tartness that gets you just in the back of your cheeks. A twist of lemon, and you have a perfect combination! It turned into a labor of love, two months in the making, but was SO worth it.
To make the limoncello: very carefully zest 12 lemons leaving as little pith as possible. (This is very important! Think lots of yellow and no white). We used two zesting methods, which I think was a key to our success. One was a fine grater and the other was a peeler. I think the combination gave extra lemony goodness and leftover candied lemon peels for garnish…yum! Add to a jar and pour in 1 750 ml bottle of vodka (use something you would actually drink). Some people suggest grain alcohol, but vodka is great and I think the final product comes out a bit less harsh.
Place on a shelf and allow to sit for three weeks, yep three weeks! Shake the jar up a few times during that first week. We put it away after that so we didn’t have to stare at it! After three weeks, add simple syrup. We found a bottle of meyer lemon simple syrup at a specialty store and just used the whole bottle. You probably want 2 cups of regular simple syrup. Stir well. Now you get to wait some more…3 weeks more. Once again, we put it away so as not to be tempted!
After three weeks, it is time to filter! We used a gold tea filter for the first pass and then ran it through coffee filters twice more. The third pass, we added a bit, maybe two ounces, more vodka (probably sacrilege, I know, but it came out great! We will probably start with a bit more vodka next time). After you have finished filtering, pour into a pretty bottle and chill!
The final step is mixing the cocktail! We woke up to a lucky double rainbow on the perfect day to try it out. My fabulous boyfriend went out and found the perfect martini glasses and shaker to complete our quest. We wanted to get it right after all this work! We had previously found both of the liqueurs on sale, with the St. Germain coming in a boxed set with a beautiful carafe. BF mixed up all of the ingredients and shook over ice for us to enjoy. It was just as good as we remembered! This will be a staple for us from now on…try it out!
Cane and Abel: 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 oz homemade limoncello, 1 oz Domaine de Canton, ½ oz St. Germain, shake over ice, serve with a twist!