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Saturday, July 9, 2022

Recipe: Limoncello

Truly worth the time required to create this distinguished ice cold refreshing drink.

Limoncello Ingredients

  • 10 lemons

  • 1 liter vodka

  • 3 cups white sugar

  • 4 cups water

How to Make Limoncello

  1. Zest the lemons, and place zest into a large glass bottle or jar. Pour in vodka. Cover loosely and let infuse for one week at room temperature.

  2. After one week, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Do not stir. Boil for 15 minutes. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature.

  3. Stir vodka mixture into syrup. Strain into glass bottles, and seal each bottle with a cork. Let mixture age for 2 weeks at room temperature.

  4. Place bottled liqueur into the freezer. When icy cold, serve in chilled vodka glasses or shot glasses.

Limoncello Nutritions

  • Calories: 132.2 calories

  • Carbohydrate: 17.6 g

  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

  • Fat: 0 g

  • Fiber: 0 g

  • Protein: 0 g

  • SaturatedFat: 0 g

  • ServingSize:

  • Sodium: 1.1 mg

  • Sugar: 17.6 g

  • TransFat:

  • UnsaturatedFat:

Limoncello Reviews

  • I am currently stationed in Naples, Italy. I took a class on how to make Limoncello, trust me on this, use 1 Liter of Everclear, and 1 Liter of water. I have talked to people that said Vodka does not do it justice. We were taught to use a potatoe peeler, you dont want any of the white, it makes it taste bitter. Other than that, follow the recipe wrt sugar and the time line. Remeber to keep this in the freezer prior to drinking.

  • Was a hit at my summer party,( A little tip) for server,cut a half a gallon milk carton in half,place bottle of limoncello in the center, fill with water and flowers and freeze overnight.peel back carton and serve on a plate and have a towel handy. This will guarentee limoncello stays chilled

  • Great recipe I also cut the sugar down to 2 cups (also 2.5 C of water), and I boiled lemonzest with the sugar/water mix to add a stronger lemon flavor to the whole thing. (Note: leftover lemon syrup is great for flavoring other drinks or making Italian sodas as well)

  • I followed the suggestions of other reviewers and used a veggie peeler on my lemons, which made this much more manageable. I used organic lemons, since I figured its the one time where the part of the lemon Im the most interested in is the outside After peeling off chunks of peel, I flipped them over and scraped them with the side of my knife to remove all of the pith. The end result made enough for x-mas presents for a few people and some for me to keep as well My recommendation for drinking this: mix with pomegranite juice or cranberry juice. The flavors work so perfectly together, it tastes like youre drinking candy

  • Good if you prefer the clear limoncello. I personally prefer the creamy version and have a recipe from a native Italian that is delicious.

  • Love this recipe, I made a few changes to make things easier for me. First I poured off just enough Vodka (100 proof) out of the bottle to fit the lemon peel directly into the Vodka bottle. I then aged this for three weeks. After combining the simple syrup with this mixture, I poured it back into the Vodka bottle and an emptied, cleaned wine bottle (or two if needed). I let this age for three weeks as well, then strained. I think leaving the zest in the mix for the second aging increased the lemon flavor and helped balance the sweetness. Thank you for providing the recipe, its so much better than storebought.

  • Limoncello is a really good drink. This recipe has worked 2/4 times I tried it. You have to be really careful to get just the zest or it will ruin it.

  • Try mixing this with Italian Blood Orange Soda for a gorgeous as well as over the top cocktail I get my soda at Target but many grocery stores have it. Put the Limoncello in a tall glass over ice cubes and then slowly pour the soda, which is a dark red orange color, down the side of the glass. Beautiful color combo as well as flavor....ENJOY

  • I love this recipe I have chosen to age the Zest a little longer (2 weeks) and then once the simple syrup was added another month. I have also taken a Vanilla bean or two, slice them open and added them to the second aging process. Its called Mellocello...fabulous over ice and boy does it sneak up on you

  • Terrific and so fun I made a double batch & gave it for Christmas gifts. I started the process in late October with homegrown Meyer lemons. I too peeled them instead of zesting-wasnt hard at all. After 3 weeks I strained that and added the lemon syrup (boiled more peel with the sugar and water) I only used 2 cups of sugar after reading other reviews. I let this sit another 3 weeks and then decanted it. Everyone loved it at the holidays- and it will only get better as it sits. Kept a little for me for this summer

  • Loose the Vodka and use Everclear instead.

  • Absolutely wonderful. I have a year round loaded lemon tree so this will become a staple at our house. I adjusted the recipe for a 750 ml bottle--8 lemons, 3 cups water & 2 cups sugar. Going to try the creamy version next.

  • This drink is so incredibly sweet. Is there a mixture that anyone has tried to cut the sweetness? A drink made with the Limoncello as a base? As I have three bottles of it in the freezer, I would like to be able to use it. Thanks in advance for any help.

  • The limoncella was good, but it took ages to make. By the time I was finally done making my huge Christmas batch, I didnt want to try any of it myself. This is definitely not an endeavor for the impatient or faint of heart

  • HelloI am English. I a have visited Italy and drunk Limoncello there. Is this similar to the way it is made in Italy?I intend to give it a go anywayThanks

  • I used a potato peeler to peel the lemons. I added a few more lemons and used about 15. Afterwards, I juiced the lemons and saved it. After the melding process was completed, I used two cups of water and used the other two cups using the fresh lemon juice I had saved. It gave the Limoncello a very lemony flavor, sweet and sour, and a beautiful yellow hue. Looked beautiful in bottles and gave as gifts A huge hit My mother loves a generous splash in homemade iced tea to give it a little kick Bon Appetit

  • First time too sweet and too weak. Second time dropped the sugar to 2 cups and changed to Grain Alcohol... now we have a crowd pleaser

  • Sorry, but I honestly do not think you you should call this limoncello. Perhaps lemon vodka would be better. Limoncello is made with grain alcohol, and is a bit of a process to get a great product. To those of you who like this, I suggest you made real limoncello, you will LOVE it

  • This is a simpler version of my recipe. My limoncello ages for 80 days but is well worth it. The more it sits the smoother it is. Donot skip on the aging and make sure to keep it in the freezer. Wonderful

  • We all make limoncello in my family. May I suggest the following:#1 Use Everclear. Unlike vodka, Everclear is virtually tasteless and wont compete with the lemon flavor.#2 I use a sharp potato peeler and circle around the lemon and usually end up with one long continuous peel. Never zest the lemons#3 You want a good 2 weeks of soaking the peels in the alcohol and every couple of days turn the bottles to mix.#4 Squeeze the lemon juice and pour into an ice cube tray, freeze, then store in a zip lock freezer bag. Defrost a cube or two when you need lemon juice for salad or whatever.#5 Part of the Limoncello experience is to proudly serve your liquor in a fancy clear or frosted bottle. Patron brand tequila bottles work really well once you get the labels off.#6 Limoncello competition in my family can be fierce, and rumor has it yellow food dye gives an unfair advantage lol.

  • Super easy and wonderful beverage. I used a vegetable peeler to peel the lemons and it was quick. The first mixture filled one one-quart mason jar (I used a 750 ml bottle of vodka, not a liter) along with the peels. Then step 2 with the simple syrup filled two large mason jars perfectly. I enjoyed this mixed 1:1 with cranberry juice in a martini glass - similar to a cosmo. If you like sweet cocktails this recipe is for you. IMPORTANT: Be sure to cool the simple syrup as stated in the directions or your alcohol will burn off - and you wouldnt want that :)

  • Buy and use a Microplane zester - its the best tool for zesting lemons and making Limoncello

  • Ive been making this for the past 4 years. I use a potato peeler, too, as it is much easier. I let it steep in the fridge for a month, stirring occasionally. Mix with half and half for a creamy drink or pour over vanilla ice cream for a great quick dessert.

  • Good recipe, but it would be more like an Italian commercial product and better if you use Everclear or any other grain alcohol (95% alcohol) vs 40% for Vodka.5 cups water to 3 cups sugar is not as sweet and I think a better ratio.

  • We mix limoncello, about 6 juiced lemons, vodka and fresh mint in a quart pitcher with ice. I never really measure anything, just do it to taste. Shake vigorously, then serve over ice and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. This recipe makes delicious limoncello, but drinking it straight isnt to my personal taste.

  • I agree that this recipe is a bit sweet, so I just used 1 1/2 cups sugar. That is why I only gave it 4 stars. The extra lemon zest added to the simple syrup is a great idea So is using a vegetable peeler. I would also remind everyone that most store bought lemons are coated with wax, so make sure you let them sit in VERY hot water first and rub off the wax. I use 1/2 a jigger of this in my Cosmopolitan drink and also make a sorbet with it. LOVE IT

  • I found this easy and delicious. I used a small flat hand held cheese shredder. I have made it twice and also made a small lime test batch. I did not use glass with corks but old peach jars (and an old sauce jar which had a hint of sauce scent and the limoncello overpowered it). Next time I will step down the sugar as suggested above.

  • In reading all of the reviews beforehand, I thought that I had this recipe down pat. 1/2 of the sugar, use everclear, let steep for 2 weeks with lemon peels, 1 week with simple syrup then freeze. I should have done 3/4 of the sugar for personal preference. I had to do 1 1/2s time the recipe as I was only able to buy everclear in 1.75L bottles. I have four lovely bottles of this in my freezer and more than enough taste testers to make me want to start on my next batch. Let me play with it at 3/4 sugar and rate again

  • Perfect lemoncello I had some in Italy last year and this is even better Very important not to get any of the white pith in it. I use a potatoe pealer and peal the skin off instead of scraping the pith out. Works great

  • So far, the receivers of the bottles I gave as Christmas gifts say that this was good The limoncello Ive had before was not as bright of a yellow color as mine turned out to be... unfortunately, Im not in a state that grows lemons - perhaps fresh off-the-tree would have been best. Very fun to make

  • I used Everclear which is grain alcohol 190 proof so when it gets diluted it is closer to 35-40 percent abv like it is supposed to be. Plus I use organic lemons then clean them with fruit and vegetable cleaner before peeling them. I use a veggie peeler to peel skins so it leaves most of the pith behind. If you want a more refine clearer drink when you strain off peel use a coffee filter with a strainer to catch the fine pieces. Then re filter before bottling. I let peels ferment for 3-4 weeks then strain with filter. Then add simple syrup then let it ferment a couple weeks then bottle. I have also made it with oranges and limes as well they are just as good. As far as sugar and water some like it sweet and some dont plus depends on fruit bitterness so you may have to adjust to your liking

  • Im about to add the syrup today, and will post back after I let it sit with the sugar for (only) a week. I used limes instead- a fun green color after only sitting for 6 days. I can drink it as is right now- ha Why does the mixture have to sit for so long after adding the sugar? Its not like it is fermenting it.

  • Absolutely delicious when I add a few drops of lemon juice. This is the first tiime I made any liquer recipe. Easy to follow and wonderfully thick, when chilled

  • STRONG You just need a splash or so. Add to lemonade and/or tea for a refreshing, simple summer cocktail.

  • I made this for my friend for her birthday, and she loved it I put it in a decorative bottle with some candied lemon peel. It looked really cool and tasted even better. I will definitely make this again

  • Tedious to make, but worth it This is a real crowd pleaser for dinner parties. The longer you age it in the freezer the smoother it gets.

  • This was spectacular We will definitely make this regularly. I didnt use a particularly expensive vodka, but it didnt matter. Also, I got busy, so the zest sat for almost three weeks before I strained it and added the sugar water. I used a grater-type zester...took a little time, but was worth it. I used a 2 quart mason jar for the zest part...that made almost 3 wine bottles worth when mixed with the sugar water. Were buying small wine bottles and making a couple batches to give as Christmas gifts. Basically, I was able to make USD70 worth of limoncello for about USD15. Great recipe.

  • I used 1.5 cups of sugar, and 3 cups water. Tastes great so far, I imagine it will be even more delicious once its aged and served ice cold

  • I also cut the sugar in half. Everyone who tried it loved it. Only problem, when I put it in the freezer it freezes???

  • Very good, I had a grater that worked perfectly for the lemons(zester/grater by microplane), came out a little too sweet for my taste but still great. Next time I am going to try and find some whole grain alcohol.

  • The recipe in itself gives correct indications for making limoncello in general, but here are a few steps to seriously up your game.Already, you shouldnt "zest" the lemons, since it requires pressing them, grinding the peel and basically pouring part of the essential oils out of the rind, which are what gives the limoncello its incredible flavor (more oils in the rinds = better limoncello flavor). Just peel the rind as you would an apple or a potato, make sure you get little to no white pith on them, and just put them in the jar to macerate.Second thing: a week of macerating is good, but you can get a better limoncello than the store version by *really* waiting. Between a month and three months of the rinds staying in the vodka will let the oils completely mix to the alcohol. Dont fear for the rinds, they wont rot or go bad. Just keep the bottle in a dark place (as long as its out of direct sunlight and about room temperature).FInally, you probably shouldnt go directly for the amount of sugar and water recommended by the recipe for the sugar syrup. Its a good way to make a sweeter limoncello, but it also may be way too sweet for some people. As Emma Christensen puts it: "You can play with the ratios of water to sugar. Start with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar, taste the limoncello, and add additional sugar syrup gradually until you reach a flavor you like up to 4 cups of water with 4 cups of sugar. More water will dilute the alcohol base, making a less alcoh

  • So easy,so good

  • Very easy and tastes authentic. We love it

  • This limoncello recipe is the real deal We like it, but it is really strong. Its sweet taste is deceiving, and may lead you to believe it is pretty "harmless"... but beware, it isnt.

  • Super delicious and easy to make. I used a 1/2 gallon mason canning jar.

  • Ive made Limoncello many times, can also use Lime or Orange, whatever is available and most reasonably priced.Changes I make because my family love Lemon ... is 4 cups water, 4 cups sugar and 1 cup of the squeezed lemon juice: pulp, seeds and all. I only use a lemon zest, any white will ruin the sweet tart aftertaste to bitter I throw everything into my 4 Litre container right off the bat, and let it stew a week or so until the flavor is right Strain and bottle, storing in the fridge ... transfer to deep freeze before serving

  • Used everclear as suggested by other reviewers. Turned out perfect. Love the sweet lemony taste

  • Absolutely loved this After returning from an Italian vacation, I regretted not purchasing any limoncello to bring home. This recipe pretty much duplicates the limoncello I tasted in Sorrento and Capri. I put it in the freezer and serve it right away.

  • If you like lemon, you will love this I almost always have a bottle of homemade limoncello in my refrigerator. I serve it in martini glasses filled with ice.

  • WONDERFUL I read all the reviews and so for the first batch, I used grain alcohol and 1/2 the sugar. It was WAY too strong and not sweet enough. Second batch I made exactly according to the directions except instead of water, I used the juice of the lemons I peeled and added enough water to make up the full liquid. Oh yes, I peeled with a veggie peeler and it worked great. This batch was wonderful I wouldnt change a thing except I would use the juice of the lemons. Ive never tried limoncello before, so I have nothing to compare it to but this was great I have a friend whos Italian, been to Italy and tasted it there. Im going to have her try it and get her opinion. I will re-post after her taste test. Thank you Michele for a wonderful recipe

  • I had forgotten that I made this and stashed in the freezer until I found it this weekend. Followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious We have had a very hot and humid summer and this was such an OH so refreshing treat. Can hardly wait to enjoy another glass of it tonight

  • Cut the sugar in half. Nice Cant wait to try it with oranges. Definitely peeling the lemon skin is the only way to go.

  • I think you have to use Everclear/grain alcohol, not vodka to make a true Limoncello. Give it even more steeping time, (4-5 weeks) for the best lemon flavor. This helps to create that cloudy look you see in Italian made Limoncello. The shorter steep time works and its extremely tasty but thats why it isnt as cloudy.Its easy pizzi Perfect aperitif for a cool fall evening and a wonderful gift for Christmas

  • My neighbor & I made this recipe and loved it. We followed the instructions pretty closely (we added the zest of a couple of additional lemons), and the flavor was excellent; it has a nice lemon flavor, not boozy at all. We used Eureka lemons from my neighbors tree. For the vodka, we used Titos. I have recently been to Sorrento, Italy (the home of limoncello) and this recipe was as good as or better than any of the many limoncellos I tried there.

  • This was VERY sweet. I would agree to cut the sugar by about half for a smoother drink. I used a microplane zester for all the lemons and it went very quickly. Im going to go with 4 stars, with the sugar cut down this would be very nice, as is, its crazy sweet (even for me)

  • While Im not an expert on limoncello, this isnt anything like Pallini, which is my gold standard. It is too thickly sweet, not lemony enough and not potent enough. It wont go to waste but I will try another recipe next time AND use Everclear. I will also use peels instead of gratings. I used a vanilla bean as recommended by a reviewer and while not bad, I didnt like the color tinge or the lack of citrus kick.

  • This is incredible Thanks for the recipe. I started outwith grating the zest. My arms started hurting, so I did what another reader suggested and lightly peeled the rest. It was time consumming, but worth it

  • Excellent. Comparable to Limoncello served on Princess Cruises. Made it with Everclear.

  • The Recipe works, However I have to add some common sense and flavor here that I found to be an upgrade in luxury so to speak. I add one half of a fresh split Vanilla Bean to the Vodka and MEYER lemon Peel stage. then I can not see any reason not to use the juice from the MEYER from 10 lemons you will get just about 2 cups of juice, (its not as acidic) I incorporate this floral juice into my simple syrup (meaning I use it then only 2 cups of water and 3 cups sugar) then continue with the layout of this Recipe. you will really enjoy this.

  • This is my first time making Limoncello. I wanted to try the Limoncello cake. I kept the lemon zest (part 1) for over 2 weeks. Then I made part 2. I just tasted it after mixing the two, before letting it sit at room temperature for 2 weeks and it tasted good Cant wait to finish this process and chill. Maybe I wont use it for that cake, or maybe I will make another one for the cake so easy. But time consuming of course. Update: so the limoncello is done and I guess I just realized I do not like limoncello Ill give it to my sister who says she loves it :)

  • Takes some time, but well worth the wait. I always have a bottle waiting in my freezer.

  • I use the zest of 6 large lemons, & 3 cups vodka, let steep 7-10 days, then add simple syrup. But basically this recipe...I tried making it a TINY bit less sweet, and it made it more refreshing for after dinner in the summer. I never had "real" limoncello, so I cant compare. But this is very nice on occasion

  • Although time consuming,it was worth the wait. I keep it in the freezer and it is always a hit with guests.

  • This turned out wonderfully. We made it as a trial for Thanksgiving and well definitely be giving it for Christmas.

  • This is a very good recipe. Does anyone know why you boil the syrup 15 whole minutes? Or why it says to not stir it? Both seem to extend the process. Its summer you know. I hate to heat up the kitchen.

  • It is wonderful Getting ready to make another batch right now

  • I made this and it turned out great, however, I did make a change or two. After reading a few reviews about using vodka, I chose to use Golden Grain so it wouldnt have a vodka taste. I also let the lemon peels sit in the Golden Grain for 40 days. I then strained it and added the simple syrup mixture and let it sit for another 2 days. I poured the limoncello into cute bottles I found at the store and put them in the freezer. My friend went to Rome and I asked her to taste their limoncello and compare it to mine. She said mine taste just like theres did in Rome I am very happy with this recipe.... Ill try making meloncello next.

  • This is fabulous Worth the effort And yes, my arms were sore too from zesting 20 lemons I made a double batch I am giving it as gifts for the holidays.

  • Best limoncello I have ever had

  • You should use everclear grain alcohol for this recipe. Youll have much better results. Also when buying lemons make sure that you buy only organic lemons You dont want pesticides in your limoncello. Washing them wont remove it completely and scrubbing them will remove essential oils.

  • Decent. Too sweet. Next time I will look for a recipe that calls for Everclear instead of vodka and that also includes milk.

  • I agree with using the Everclear instead of vodka and reduce the amount of sugar to 2 cups. For the person requesting a less sweet mixed version, I love pouring about an ounce of the lemon cello into a Champaign flute and then filling the glass with a dry Prosecco. Its my favorite special occasion drink (and I keep coming up with more special occasions).

  • I made this and followed direction, but some of the bottles (actually most of them) ended up with a brown foamy, yucky stuff on the top and stuff floating in it. Any thoughts? I filtered it through a coffee filter, but am afraid to drink it. Anyone have that happen to them? My sister made a different recipe and hers did not do that. HELP

  • Real Liminchello is not made with vodka. Everclear, or another grain alcohol should be used.

  • Way too much sugar in the recipe. Overpowers the zest. Use half the sugar like the other commenters Have said.

  • I discovered this refreshing nectar on a recent trip to Italy. It was very simple to make. This recipe is much sweeter than its Italian neighbor. But its still very good I cut the sweetness by adding 1 cup of citrus flavor vodka to the finished batch. It cut the syrupyness and gave it quite a punch :)

  • I made no changes, but I did use a vegetable peeler for the zest. It was much easier than I had imagined. Everyone I gave this to loved it I will make it again soon

  • I use a half and half combo of 80 proof vodka and grain alcohol. I make 3L and adjust the lemons and sugar for this. I have also made a batch where I have put 2 vanilla beans into the mix of alcohol and lemons. The Vanillacello is a big hit.

  • This goes down too easy

  • I cut back to 2 cups of sugar. I scraped the white stuff from the lemons and used whole peel. I let it sit 5 weeks in a cool spot with no sun. If gives it a more intense lemon flavor Very refreshing mixed with 7 up??

  • I let mine sit in freezer for a few months, me thinks it got stronger. Worth the wait. Yummy

  • I too cut the sugar in half it was awesome

  • Yummy and easy to make. Enjoy over ice, soak berries and enjoy over cake or ice creamer. Simply delicious

  • We like it better than the store bought.

  • I called myself following the recipe and it came out waaayyyy too syrupy. Cant drink it.

  • I made this recipe and brought a pint jar to a gathering and had everyone there asking for the recipe I did do another batch with 6 Limes, 2 Oranges, 2 Lemons (Called it Joychello) Was a huge hit at the party also. ?

  • So good and so easy. We definitely make again. I passed these out as gifts and every receiver loved them.

  • I made this for my sister and best friend for Christmas one year. I let the whole, zested lemons sit in the vodka for six weeks. It really made the lemon flavor come through. I strained the vodka and squeezed the lemon juice out as well.

  • The very best thank you remember about this recipe is to not get any little bit of white of the peeling. I have made a Recipe like this several years ago and it was a disaster because I had too much white peeling in it. This is a very good recipe. It was fun making it. And I used the lemons for fresh lemonade for Mothers Day. And now I am making Sugared lemon peel with the leftover appealing.

  • Im making it a second time.... left the lemon zest steep for two weeks, will up the sugar a bit this time.

  • I ended up zesting the lemons to get the most oils from the peels. That makes a "cloudy" Limoncello which you want. Ill try it with Everclear next time and use a tad less simple syrup.

  • Very easy to make.

  • On my second batch of this. Absolutely love it.

  • Excellent, but heres a much faster method. BTW lemons have pesticide residue so scrub them under running water before zesting. Meyer lemons are amazing for this (Peel is much thinner so use a sharp razor knife to avoid getting white pith, which is bitter.) Into an ISI half-liter whip siphon, put all lemon zest and a good vodka to the fill limit. Charge with NO2 cartridge. Let it sit for at least 2 hours. Overnight is better. Slowly release pressure with the whip upright and a glass over the nozzle and another below to catch any spray. Proceed as directed in recipe. Store in freezer and serve in frosted shot glasses.

  • Absolutely loved it. Made it to the letter.

  • I made this before but with 190 proof. It was too much. I will try with 80 proof.

  • My addition to the recipes: take two tablespoons, two ice cubes, swirl and enjoy for your nightcap. Mmmm.

  • Excellent Recipe. Have tried Limoncello here and un the Amalfi coast and this is a good one. Ensure you substitute the vodka with Everclear. Also be careful when pealing the skin of the lemon not to include the white pith of the lemon. I used 151 proof Everclear and used the full recommended amount of simple syrup and it came out great. Thanks for sharing this recipe

  • Amazing

Source: Limoncello

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