With my recent run of lemons, Limoncello was in the air.

Limoncello is a lovely Italian lemon liqueur, that is best drunk icy cold. Store the bottle in the fridge and pop your glasses in the freezer just before drinking. Before making it, I did a bit of reading through the internet. Trying to find a recipe that sounded authentic, and not too much of a pain to make. I couldn’t decide on one particular one, so I thought I would combine them all together and go with what suited my time frame.

So was it easy and did it work?

Easy yes. Did it work, I really don’t know. I’m not drinking any alcohol at the moment so my usual taste test was passed over to Mr Chocolate. He keeps asking for a glass full at night time, so I think it got the seal of approval. It certainly smells like the real deal, and I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be making more sooner rather than later.

Pop them into some smaller glass bottles and they will make a lovely homemade Christmas gift.

day four- vodka and lemon rind


8 medium sized organic lemons

750mls vodka

400g sugar

250mls water

100mls strained lemon juice

Soak organic lemons in hot water for about half an hour, clean them thoroughly. Leave to dry and then with a vegetable peeler take all the skins off and pop into a large glass bottle or jar. Don’t use any of the pith as it will become bitter. Once peeled, lemon juice can be used for lemon cordial or curd. Alternatively store the lemons in the fridge for later use. Add the bottle of vodka and secure the top. Store bottle in a dark spot and daily give it a bit of a shake, making sure all the peel is moved around.

I did this for nine days and then added the lemon sugar syrup.

In a pot boil the sugar and water together until it thickens a little. Keep stirring, the whole time, as it can bubble over, or become too thick quickly. Once mixture has thickened, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.

Cool completely (you don’t want any of the alcohol to evaporate) and then add to the vodka mixture. Top on tightly again, and back in a cool dark place. Once a day, give it a swirl and mix it up a little.

Day sixteen, I strained the mixture of all peel, using a muslin lined colander. Handed some to Mr Chocolate to do a little taste test. He thought it was more lemon cordial to try, and drank it quickly. Really quickly… that was funny.

Limoncello is best drunk ice cold. Keep the bottle in the fridge and chill the glasses before hand.


46 thoughts on “Limoncello

  1. I was eyeing up bottles and thinking of making this only the other day for some gifts and then I remembered that I have all that sloe vodka waiting to be decanted in the dark recesses of the garage. I do fancy your summery limoncello though, it is such a beautiful colour and there are lots of new season lemons coming through – maybe one jar just to try! It sounds so simple to make 🙂


  2. It sounds delicious and one I haven’t tried yet. Two questions: Why did you soak the lemons before peeling? Why not put the sugar and juice straight into the mix at the beginning and bypass having to make a syrup?


    • Excellent questions dear Choc…
      I soaked the lemons first, to make sure they were super clean, and I did the sugar and juice later as basically I was doing it to fit in with my time I had available. (Installments works best for me!)
      Half the recipes I looked at, did it all at once, and the other half staggered it. I also wanted a little thickness to the syrup and not just added straight sugar juice.
      Hope that helps.


  3. I made some a little while back & it was popular with everyone who tried it so much so i’ve just made a 2nd batch with a 3rd half done. I changed it this time though. First time i peeled the lemons like the recipe said but with the 2nd & 3rd batch i grated it.


  4. my first thought was why soak lemons in hot water?? wouldnt lots of oils be released and wasted when you want that oil in the vodka! i love limoncello and have been making it annually alongside our lemon trees whims. I usually soak my peel in vodka for a few months. This year i also made ginger and orange vodka infusion made the same way as limoncello but to use up our oranges- zenzerino- very good too! ps. i also keep my lemon vodka peel to pilverise and mix through vanilla icecream for an adult desert- hate wasting that stuff!


    • You’re right, I did think I would be losing a bit of the oils on that first bath. I did it just to make sure they were super clean though.
      I got impatient with the waiting, I’m not sure I could contain the excitement if I waited a few months!
      and Zenzerino eh?…Loving the thought of that.


  5. well, the color is encouraging. it is opaque, as it should be.
    I tried once when I was little more than a kid and it was a failure 🙂
    yours looks better.


  6. Beautiful! Lemoncello has a special place in my heart — I got a little tipsy on it the night before my wedding!! I’ve never thought of making it, I’ll have to give it a try!
    Thanks for sharing!


  7. You’re right about the curd. I often do that with storebought limoncello. Makes a luxurious difference. I’ll refer to your recipe when the lemons are abundant and I shall definitely give it a crack. Just love this kind of post.


  8. Oh my goodness, I MUST try this! And there is still time before Christmas too, if I get cracking. Farmers market on today…will be looking for lemons. Now just to hunt down a fancy bottle or two…

    Oh dear, just saw above post – 40 days? Will it be good for Christmas consumption if I start now?


  9. Pingback: lemon and olive oil cake | Cityhippyfarmgirl

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