Vala, Clutter and limoncello


During this week-end I finally found some time to start playing with Vala and Clutter. I would like to write a small game using them, but I’m not sure I will finish it because the more the time passes the less I seem able to write code in my free time. Now that I’m spending all the day programming I find it very hard to write code when I come back from the office and I end up spending my time doing other things, like cooking.

Speaking of cooking, in Italy it’s quite common to make your own limoncello or other similar liqueurs so I finally decided to try making a basil-based limoncello-like liqueur. This kind of liqueurs is made using some 95% (190 proof) alcohol to extract the flavour form the lemon/basil/whatever and then the result is diluted with water and sugar. In Italy bottles of grain alcohol are available in most grocery stores[1], but here it seems impossible to find. I suspect that the only way to have access to it in the UK is to work in a lab where alcohol is used[2].

[1] And nobody that I know of tried to just drink it or used it to make other drinks stronger, so I was quite surprised when I discovered that pure alcohol is used in the US (in the states where it’s legal) almost only to make drinks stronger.

[2] Somebody in Cambridge reading this that works in a place where 95% alcohol is used?

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I studied in a chemistry lab where absolute ethanol (100%) was used. Be careful with anything that is just lab-grade ethanol, as it is common to include potentially-lethal additives (methanol or pyridine) to deter “recreational use” :)

If I was in the UK still, I would be able to get you some pure ethanol, but alas, I moved to Germany a couple of months ago.

As far as I know the 95% one used in most labs is ok, while the 100% one is not. But of course I have to verify before using it :)

It’s a shame how in this country it’s impossible to find in grocery stores, and if it was available I’m pretty sure that a lot of people would use it in stupid ways :(

My feeling is that people will use this in stupid ways everywhere, but the UK and other countries limit the easy access to this supply to minimise the effects of people’s stupidity, which all in all is a good thing.

There used to be a shop called Limoncello in Cherry Hinton Road that may have these supplies. There is another italian deli shop in Mill Road, in front of the Coop.

Yeah I doubt you can buy it anywhere in the UK.

I once went to the chemistry department in Cambridge to try to buy some chemicals. They wouldn’t let me, predictably, but I did notice that you have to fill in a special blue book to get ethanol.

Probably not wise to drink it as they usually ‘denature’ it (=add evil stuff).

You could always make a still… :-)