Soozie’s Boozie started as a lark when I got my dehydrator in the summer of 2009 and feverishly went to work drying whatever fresh produce I came across. In this case it was a super abundant meyer lemon tree in Palo Alto.
Somehow the idea of dipping the lemon slices in granulated sugar and dehydrating them seemed like a good one. And it was. Unlike candied lemons, candied citrus peel, or limoncello made with lemon zest – this approach had an amazing je ne sais quoi.
Well I can say quoi. It is that the water is zapped away after a few hours of dehydration, which concentrates the lemon. The peel adds a slight bite and the resulting liqueur is like an instant Lemon Drop.
How many lemon slices to put in the jar, to which you add vodka or everclear, is not an exact science. In fact you can simply throw in a few more slices if it’s not lemony enough.
Within just a few hours the sweet lemony beverage is ready to pour over ice, or to add sparkling water and a mint sprig.
Where Reality Sets In
The throngs of fans* suggested I go into business with my “instant limoncello kit.”
It wasn’t until I applied for the Underground Farmer’s Market that I realized:
- Lemons are seasonal. Only local lemons would do and so I probably couldn’t produce enough.
- The kit requires refrigeration since the lemons aren’t fully dry; I could fully dry them but haven’t tried that yet. Luckily it’s not necessary to put the lemons in a jar until it’s ready to use. So keeping them in a large baggy – in which I add extra sugar to generously coat the lemons – does the trick in a compact way.
- A commercial kitchen would be required if I were to sell these “for real.” The way the dehydrator works you plug it into the wall and twiddle your thumbs, or in my case go to sleep. While I’m sure I could find someone who would let me pay something nominal to use their electricity and sink for washing, the standard hourly commercial kitchen rates would be prohibitive.
Soozie’s Boozies Today
I plan to somehow spread the joie de boozies this winter when lemon season is in full swing.
And hmmm perhaps dehydrate the vodka soaked lemons then dip them in chocolate or make some kind of Boris Portnoy-inspired candy.
If you have read this far, I want to give you a jar! Please get in touch and I’ll hand make a collectible* label for you with my Late 2010 Crop lemons.
*ok it sounds good