18 large organic lemons
1 (750 ml) bottle 151 proof alcohol, such as Everclear
1 (750 ml) bottle 80 proof vodka
4 cups sugar
3 cups water
Wash and dry the lemons. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the yellow skin, taking care to not include any white pith, as this will make it bitter. Place lemon skins in a glass gallon-size jar and add the 151 proof alcohol and vodka. Cover tightly and place in a cool, dark place. Gently stir every 7 days. After 5 weeks remove one of the peels and bend it; if it snaps in two then proceed with the recipe. If it still bends without breaking, continue aging for a week or more until the peel does snap in two.
In a large saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook over medium-high heat just until the sugar dissolves. Do not allow mixture to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Gently remove the peels from the alcohol with a slotted spoon or a pair of tongs, trying to keep pieces intact; discard peels. Pour mixture through three layers of cheesecloth into a clean bowl. Then strain mixture through coffee filters. This will take a fair amount of time to strain the entire mixture and you’ll need a number of filters.
After straining, combine the alcohol and sugar solution and stir to combine. Cover and place mixture in a cool, dark location for at least 6 weeks.
Filter mixture once more through fine-textured coffee filters before pouring into smaller bottles. Seal completely and continue to store in a cool, dark place until ready to serve.