Limoncello, lemons and dog lovers

It’s with mixed feelings that I post the article about my Limoncello soap today. When I started the project, it was to be a celebration of lemons and so I looked for inspiration on the internet, where else 🙂

I don’t have overly green fingers, however we do have two small-ish lemon trees who are producing lemons copiously with our current winter rain that we have in Cape Town (in abundance, thankfully).

 Added to that, I am very fond of lemon and enjoy it in rooibos tea as is, over salads and I absolutely love lemon curd on the more tangy side (much to my family’s chagrin). I was pleasantly surprised to see recipes for Limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur. Who doesn’t love liqueur, and here is the best of the two worlds, and right up my alley so to speak.

A celebration of lemons would imply to use as much of the lemon as possible so this meant the rind and the juice. I wasn’t overly optimistic about getting a lot of colour from the rind in an oil infusion but was hopeful for a touch of smell nevertheless, so I infused lemon zest in some extra virgin olive oil which would form part of the ingredients. 

I squeezed and filtered the juice, which was then used for the liquid part of the recipe. Next, I added the caustic soda to the lemon juice and was greeted with a gorgeous, deep orange colour from the reaction. I posted the video of that over here.

Citrus does not survive very well in soap making, and I usually use folded citrus essential oils for a stronger scent. I did not have any folded lemon essential oil on hand, so I cheated a little and added a touch of lemongrass essential oil to add a lemony as well as a sweet scent to mimic the Limoncello smell.

The idea was to do a lighter swirl through the batter for a creamy look, however I did not add enough zinc oxide for it to be noticeable. You can though, if you zoom in close enough, see it together with the “bubbles”. Plus, I used more liquid with this recipe, so i was blessed with a lovely coating of soda ash on top. I contemplated for about a second to wash it off, however decided to keep it in the “spirit” of things 😉 

While cutting and cleaning the soap up the next day though, I unfortunately received the untimely news that my dad passed away unexpectedly. My inspiration for Limoncello was originally to be the punch line “when life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!” so I contemplated for a long time before deciding to post this article to carry on with the inspiration as originally intended. My father was a simple man and he would have wanted to make Limoncello regardless. 

My youngest Labrador decided to join in on the action as well while I was taking photographs this morning as you can see in the background. Since this post is a dedication of some kind to my dad who was a huge dog lover, I’ve decided to keep the photo as is. So, here’s to lemons, limoncello and dog lovers!

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