After I mentioned to Phil my success in making Limoncello using Persian limes (would that be limettacello?), he kindly offered up a Buddha’s Hand for me to try the same thing with. Buddha’s Hands are truly odd beasts — they’re a citrus fruit, but they have no pulp. It’s all zest and pith. And they look like an elder god. They smell somewhat lemony, but with strong floral notes — similar to the smell of some roses.
After a bit of research, I discovered that the pith of the Buddha’s Hand isn’t bitter, which means I didn’t need to be anywhere near as careful in removing zest as you do with lemons and limes.
So, for the first set of steps, I needed to get as much zest as practical off the Buddha’s Hand, and get it soaking in 190 proof grain alcohol. Here’s the basic setup:
The strange looking thing is the fruit itself. The knife is to get at the hidden surfaces on the fruit; the white scrub brush is to remove any wax, dirt, or other undesirable stuff from the fruit; and the tool on the right is a microplane, which is one of the best ways to zest a lot of citrus.
Here, you can see the inside of the fruit:
Yep, it’s pith all the way through. Here, you can see the stem sticking down into the pith:
After about 30 minutes of chopping and zesting, the entire Buddha’s Hand is reduced to a pile of chunks and about half a cup of zest:
Finally, we add about half a liter of Everclear. This is just a few seconds after I poured the alcohol in; you’ll notice that the liquid has already taken on a distinct yellow hue:
So, now we let it sit for a week — I’ll report back on the final product when it’s done.