Limoncello Recipe

LimoncelloMy mother was Italian so I have a bit of an affinity with all things Italian and this includes drinking Limoncello.

For those that don’t know, Limoncello is a liqueur with the main ingredient being lemons. It has a sweet lemon taste but with a typical alcoholic aftertaste since this is after all an alcoholic drink.

In the past, we had always bought it ready made from our local bottle shop but eventually found a recipe for it so we now make it at home on a regular basis. There is always a bottle of Limoncello in the house ready for drinking.

The actual recipe itself is quite simple but it does take a couple of months for it to brew so you won’t be able to drink it straight away….well you can if you like, but it really won’t be anywhere near as good as it doesn’t allow for the lemons to release their wonderful flavor.

Once ready, you then store it in the freezer but you don’t have to worry about it freezing. It stays completely liquid but comes out nice and icy cold ready for drinking.

We originally got this recipe at Italyum so you can head over there if you need clarification of the recipe below.



  • 1 litre of Vodka
  • 10 unwaxed lemons
  • 350g sugar
  • 150ml water


  1. Wash the lemons well in water.  Then dry well with paper towels.
  2. In a saucepan over low heat, stir the sugar and the water to make a syrup.
  3. When the syrup becomes a little clearer and it looks like the sugar has been dissolved, remove from the stove top to cool.
  4. Slice or peel the skin from the lemons. You want to end up with small pieces. Ensure you take the yellow rind only.
  5. Place the rind in a large glass jar.
  6. Pour in the vodka.
  7. Add the sugar syrup. Ensure the syrup has cooled before adding.
  8. Seal the jar and store in a cool dark spot for at least 30 days.
  9. You will need to mix the ingredients on a regular basis by turning the jar back and forward to stir the ingredients. We do it maybe once a week…if we remember.
  10. After the 30 days transfer the liquid to a bottle. You will need a funnel and some sort of strainer to ensure you don’t transfer any of the lemon rind into the bottle.
  11. Store in your freezer and when cold you are ready to drink.


Make the sugar syrup Peel the lemons Add the lemon rind to the bowl Add the vodka to the lemon rind in the jar Add the sugar syrup to the bowl Seal the jar and store in a cool dry place



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  1. I have a couple unsolicited tips if you’re interested. One is to use a microplane grater because it looks like there’s a lot of the white pith getting into your mixture which will cause it to taste bitter. Also, I’d let the peels rest with just the liquor for at least 30 days prior to adding the simple syrup.

  2. Thanks for the tips Ben. We do have a microplane in the house so will try that the next time.

  3. I am from Italy and I love Limoncello! But usually we don’t use Vodka (too strong), but pure alcohol.

  4. Sounds good! I love limoncello so I will have to try this sometime 🙂

  5. Oh wow this sounds good! What a wonderful summertime drink!

  6. This sounds great and I think I will try it.

  7. I think of Limoncello as Grown-up Lemonade! I find it to be very refreshing and a perfect summertime beverage!

  8. Very cool! I’ve never heard of Limoncello before, sounds really yummy! My husband & I cook Italian alot so we’ll have to look into making up a batch of this! Thanks!!

  9. Sounds yummy! got to try this out!

  10. Bartholomew Henry says:

    A few years back I went to Roma, Napoli, and Capria…..the island where they have a little factory where they make Limoncello, if I’m not mistaken, they have another spot somewhere in the south where they make it……love it…I was amazed at the size of lemons I saw in Italy…some as big as a football….Only Chambord do I love as much as Limoncello.

    • Grain alcohol is hard to find in some states – for instance it’s not sold in VA.

      Having had lemoncello made with both vodka and grain alcohol, I prefer the vodka. It’s smoother, and it’s not any stronger. Actually grain alcohol is 190 proof and is much stronger than vodka. Maybe in Italy it’s not that strong, but it is here. That reminds me that I need to go buy some lemons. I already have the vodka.