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Homemade Limoncello Recipe

Limoncello first graced my lips when I went on vacation to Italy a few years ago, and it literally tasted like nectar from the gods. I had no idea such deliciousness existed, and even better, that it would be so easy to replicate. 

Limoncello can easily be found at your liquor store, and more varities are available at specialty Italian grocery stores. But making it yourself is fun and easy, not to mention much more cost-effective. Plus, I personally believe it tastes better.

When I had limoncello for the first time, I assumed it was some top-secret Italian recipe that you could only learn if your last name ended in a vowel, and if it had been passed down from generation to generation to generation. Lucky for you and me, that couldn't be further from the truth. It's actually quite simple to make. The only hard part is waiting a month for the vodka and lemon zest to soak. And I have, like, no patience. But trust me, the wait is worth it. 

Since you're using the peel of the lemons, organic lemons are highly recommended. You don't want to be drinking the extra pesticides and wax on the outside (plus, the vodka will kill any germs). Also, 100-proof vodka is best. It will pull the lemon flavor better. 80-proof vodka can be used, but I can't guarantee the results will be as good. 


Easy Homemade Limoncello | Celebrations.com


Limoncello is perfect (albeit STRONG) on its own, and also tastes delicious when mixed into cocktails. Make a big batch right away so that you have some on hand to enjoy all summer long. Add it to iced tea, club soda or just sip it on it's own for a sweet, lemony treat. It's typically an after-dinner drink (used as a digestive), but in the summer, limoncello is perfect at any time. 

If you're planning on serving up some limoncello this summer, do so along with some colorful confetti and paper coasters. I printed out  our Citrus and Chevron Party Printables onto thicker cardstock, and used the round confetti as mini coasters for the shot glasses. Plus, they add vibrant pops of color to your serving table!


Easy Homemade Limoncello | Celebrations.com

Easy Homemade Limoncello | Celebrations.com


The delicious liqueur was the inspiration for my summer Lovely Limoncello Cocktail Party, and went perfectly in my Limoncello Mint Champagne signature cocktail. Pair with some light sweets and a simple centerpiece, and you have the makings of a bright, summery and tasty setup. 

  • 10-12 lemons (organic lemons recommended)
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) 100-proof vodka (I used Smirnoff)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup water

Carefully remove the peel of your lemons using a vegetable peeler. Try to get just the yellow zest, and as little of the white pith as possible. 

Put lemon peels in a large glass jar or pitcher (with airtight sealable lid). Pour in entire bottle of vodka, and gently stir. Store mixture in a cool, dry place for at least 4 weeks. Be sure to stir the mixture once a week. 

After your vodka/lemon peel mixture is ready, make simple syrup. Heat water on the stove at medium-high heat, and add sugar. Bring to a boil. Once all of the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. 

Take a mesh strainer, and line with a coffee filter. Place over a medium-sized bowl, and strain vodka over the coffee filter. Once the mixture is strained fully into the bowl (you may need to stir it around to get it completely through the filter), add your simple syrup. Add more fine white sugar, to taste (if necessary). 

Pour limoncello into large sealable bottle or quart-size mason jar, and store in the fridge or freezer! Limoncello is best enjoyed chilled (I like to keep mine in the freezer).

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