I've been making Limoncello and Arancello for a few years now, and last year I saw a bottle of "Peach-Cello" in an Italian deli. Challenge accepted! A dear friend used to work at the Ferry Building Farmers' Market in SF, and she introduced me to the Tory Farms booth. All season long they have the most amazing stone fruit, and two weeks ago I got these beauties there.
A couple of days before that, I picked up some 100 proof vodka and a really big canning jar, about 5 liters. A gallon jar would also do the trick, but that would have meant an extra stop on the way home! You'll also need one lemon, but if you don't have it, it's not the end of the world.
The peaches should be very soft so they release the juices into the booze. These were pretty firm, but I knew they were such good quality they'd work anyway. I peeled and cut up about a dozen large peaches and put them in the (clean) jar with the 100 proof vodka (80 proof is also fine) and a 1" x 2" piece of lemon peel, white pith removed.
That was it for step one! I put the jar in the kitchen away from direct light for almost two weeks, picking it up to swirl the pieces around every couple of days.
After the steeping (one to two weeks is all this kind of fruit needs, not the 30-40 days needed for lemon or orange), I made 5 cups of granulated sugar and 7 cups of water into a simple syrup. When it cooled, I set up a large pot (this one is 8 qts but 5 would have been fine) with a strainer lined with cheesecloth. You can find cheesecloth at most supermarkets.
The peaches turned a little brownish, but they tasted just fine. I poured the contents of the jar into the strainer and mashed the peaches a bit to try to get out any more juice and booze they were keeping from me. I poured the peach-infused vodka back into the jar and added the simple syrup. Now the jar gets to sit for another two to four weeks and tease me while the elements blend together.
I'll bottle it the same way I did here with the arancello, then chill it and serve it cold or mixed with sparkling water or bubbly. I can't wait!
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