Thursday, September 25, 2008


I've been putting this project off for wayyyy too long. I made up a variety of 'cellos at the beginning of the summer. Of course the idea was to have them on hand for holiday gifts and such. Unfortunately, the Mello Cello has not survived the summer. It was just much too delicious! I made it just like a basic batch of limoncello, but I added 2 split vanilla beans. It's wonderfully smooth and, well, mellow!

These tags are just basic shipping tags from Office Max. The orange and strawberry are from the Stampin' UP! Tart & Tangy set. The lemon is from Stampin' UP! Sun Ripened II. The berry and orange are colored with markers, and the lemon was done with watercolor crayons. They were all "aged" with various Distress Inks and a bit of little "sprinkle" stamping.

Everyone has been asking for my recipe for the Mello Cello, and I have to admit that I "wing it" much like most of my other cooking. Here's the basic jist...

12 lemons, scrubbed to remove any shellac
2 vanilla beans Mexican are fine for this
1 liter bottle of Everclear. Have DH to cross state lines to get it if necessary.
1 empty 4 liter bottle from cheap jug wine

Thoroughly clean wine jug. Peel lemons as thinly as possible, and drop peels into jug. You don't want any white parts, just the colored outer skin. Split vanilla beans and drop into jug. Dump bottle of Everclear into wine jug, cap, and put it in a basement or other cool dark spot for at least a week. When your alcohol is a lovely yellow color, it's ready.

Strain peels, vanilla, and discard. Prepare a simple syrup. I use about 8 cups of sugar and 8 cups of water. When cool, add to your jug. Mix well and you're done! If you like a thicker, more syrupy drink, go heavier on the sugar water. If you like the more traditional "warming" drink, you may want less.

We like to drink our Mello Cello in small rocks glasses over chipped ice.