I am on a lemon-bender. These fragrant yellow orbs are hobbling into grocery stores everywhere for the season.
I couldn’t be happier.

It’s no secret I love citrusy things. Biggest problem is usually that I can’t decide which of it is my most favourite.
Besides having to rip through half a dozen lemons for this treat, It’s super easy and it’ll leave your kitchen (not to mention your hands) smelling AMAZING.

Perfect in a snazzy bottle for gift giving and enjoying during the Holidays.

Adapted from Ilva at Lucillian, (love her blog!)I figured she, living in Tuscany, would get it perfectly right. Not being much of a liquors sipper myself, I have to admit the idea is a simple as it is tasty.


7 Lemons, preferably organic, peeled
750ml Grain Alcohol (I used Vodka)
1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Water

Scrub each lemon until the oils begin to release.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin in strips, leaving the bitter, white pith.
Submerge the zest in the alcohol an leave covered, for about a week in the fridge.
Strain the zest, leaving the lemony scently, yellow tinted alcohol, while you prepare the sugar syrup.
In a saucepan, heat the water then, pour over the sugar to dissolve.
Heat it over a medium heat until it just simmers.
Add about half to the waiting alcohol and taste to your liking, adding more of the sugar syrup as necessary.
Replace into a sealable bottle and store.
Best kept chilled in the refrigerator for quick and delicious use.

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6 thoughts on “Limoncello”

  1. Limoncello is a perfect Holiday tradition. Since you are using only the outer skin of the lemon, look for organic lemons that have not been treated with nasty stuff. Even scrubbing won’t get rid of that. Look for lemon varieties that have a thick skin and are high in essential oils. Also try an alternative sweetener such as agave instead of refined sugar for a warmer palate feel. The maceration time will vary and so will the final flavor and color profile if you use high proof grain alcohol (190 proof) or vodka (80 proof). They are not the same. You MUST adjust the amount of simple syrup, as described in this feature, based on these different proofs or you will get very different final proofs. Most Limoncello is between 28 to 35% alc. Any more than that and it will be to Hot and not balanced. Do the math to make sure your final proof is accurate. A higher proof alcohol will extract out the oils and color faster. The final proof is more important than the starting proof of your spirits. More info at Salute! This makes a great Christmas host gift.
    Thank you Fred so much for this comment. It’s so detailed and helpful!
    You know, I’d tried to make a Kalhula for gifting back in college with college-sque results. I wish I’d known this earlier. I know food but not enough about the drink, I’d love to learn more!

  2. I tried Limoncello for the first time this summer(fall) while visiting my mom in Alaska. I fell in LOVE. Thank you for this! Once I’ve bottled my homemade vanilla extract I think this will be my next booze-based project!

  3. I have become addicted to “Sour Oranges” ! I found them at a local hispanic market and have been substituting them in everything from Lemon Bars to infused vodka. I even made a “Suzy Snowflake” styled Barbie birthday cake for a friend this past week using Ina Garten’s Lemon cake recipe and substituted sour orange juice in the batter and brushed sour orange simple syrup with grand mariner into the cut layers. I filled the layers with pineapple and sour orange filling and cream cheese frosing ! It was fabulous ! Love your blog ! Happy Holidays !
    Wow, that sounds delicious! What a lucky friend you have.
    You’ve certainly inspired me to make my latest craving: Thomas Keller’s Grapefruit Cake.
    Enjoy the Holidays!!!

  4. Lemons are wonderful! I love Limoncello! I have been meaning to just zest some lemons and put into vodka for a gift but I like your idea of just making the Limoncello as the gift.

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