Remember how we all used to watch the Behind the Music documentaries? There’s something fascinating about learning what happened behind the polished result. Well consider this a blog version, where we go behind the scenes of a liqueur.
My good friend Kelly, decided she wanted to make limoncello and give it away as gifts for Christmas. Fortunately for her, she decided this about three months before Christmas because that’s how long it took to infuse lemon zest into alcohol. After a lot of work and even more time, Kelly filtered and bottled half of the batch and was ready for the holidays.
With so many steps and so much planning going into these homemade gifts, I couldn’t resist making a chart of the process.
Each bottle had 312 hours in it. That’s almost an hour per ounce. And in case your BS radar is going off, yes only half the batch was filtered and bottled, so assuming it takes another eight hours to filter the rest, and another hour to bottle, that would bring down the average per bottle to 157 hours. That’s still a lot of time!
In addition to helping Kelly make her limoncello by scrubbing the lemons and filtering the rum through my Brita, I gave it a name and designed the labels. The name Four Goldens Limoncello came from the fact that Kelly has four golden retrievers—Gatsby, whose favorite toy is a green bone; Mike, the laid back chow mix; Maddie, the happiest girl in the world; and then there’s Lawrence, he sort of defies explanation.
I made four little lemon-head dog cartoons, each one representing one of the goldens. Gatsby has his trademark green bone.
Below are three label ideas at an early stage. I showed these to Kelly and she picked the one she liked the most. She saw right away that her dogs were on the label. It made her happy, which made me happy.
I developed the design into a full label, making it look as professional as I could, even including details such as how many milliliters and ounces the bottle held. Kelly wanted to have a little joke on the label, so I wrote some unnecessary instructions, “It’s liquor. Drink it.”
Now for a little behind-the-scenes of the behind-the-scenes. As you see, I have a very fancy photo studio, and a highly-trained assistant…I know it looks like a piece of poster board and kitty cat.
He’s so helpful.