Homemade Limoncello Recipe (2023)

Want to know how to make homemade limoncello recipe? Then you are exactly right here! Limoncello is really easy to prepare. You can make it at home with a few handy tools and few ingredients.

Limoncello is a classic Italian liqueur with a unique, distinctive lemon flavor. In Italy, limoncello is usually drunk very cold as a digestif. After a rich hearty meal maybe afterwardsNeapolitan Lasagna, what's better than a good cold limoncello to digest?

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But you can also use it for the preparation of desserts, such asStrawberry tiramisu.Or you can add a few drops to fresh fruit salads; just a little inSorbetor in addition to your ItalianEis.

Making limoncello at home is really easy. All you need are excellent organic lemons and a little patience! So let's find out how to make a homemade limoncello recipe!

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How to Make Homemade Limoncello Recipe

  • Preparation time:20 minutes
  • Cooking time:10 mins
  • Rest time:3 weeks

Homemade limoncello ingredients

Cans for about 2 liters (about 8 cups) of limoncello

  • 8 large unwaxed organic lemons
  • 1 liter (4 cups) of pure alcohol 95° which is equivalent to 1 liter of Everclear (190 proof) or you can use a 100 proof vodka
  • 600 g (3 cups) granulated sugar
  • 1 liter (4 cups) of water

Kitchen tools and equipment for making limoncello

Making a homemade limoncello recipe requires some simple but really useful kitchen supplies. Let's see which ones.

First,a peeler, preferably ceramic, to finely peel the lemons and remove only the zest. The ceramic blade will never brown food or change the taste or smell of food. So perfect for this recipe.

Then you need a big oneJar(minimum 3 liter capacity) with airtight or screw cap.

It is necessarya large, fine-mesh sieveto strain the alcohol and remove the lemon zest after the infusion. That worksFunnels of different sizesFilling limoncello into bottles, even the smallest ones.

Finally someglass bottleswith airtight orHigh heelsstoring limoncello.

A nice gift idea is a set of hand-painted Italian ceramicsLimoncello glasses with tray.

Even thesmall glasses for spirits, with their characteristic shape and long stem, are very pretty and also perfect for limoncello.


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Step 1)– Wash the lemons and dry them with kitchen paper. Don't rub them too hard to avoid spreading oils and perfume. Use only ORGANIC UNTREATED LEMONS (see What are the Best Lemons section for more information).

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Step 2)– Peel the lemons with a ceramic potato peeler. The ceramic blade will never brown your lemons or alter their taste or scent. Be sure to ONLY remove the zest (yellow part) and leave the white, spongy zest on the lemon as this could give the liqueur a bitter taste.

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Step 3)- Place the lemon zest in a large airtight glass jar, then pour in the alcohol (or the Everclear or the vodka). Leave them in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 2 weeks. It is better to cover the jar with a cloth so that it stays in the dark. During this time, SHAKE THE JAR EVERY DAY to mix the ingredients well without ever opening the jar.

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step 4)- After the required brewing time, you need to prepare the syrup. So put water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then let cool.

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step 5)– Now filter the liquid with a sieve and remove the lemon zest.

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step 6)– Once the syrup is cold, add it to the infusion of alcohol and lemon peel and mix well. Now fill the limoncello in glass bottles with hermetic seal or cork stopper. Store the bottles in a cool, dark place for a week.

NOTE: For extra safety, you can sterilize the bottles by boiling them in a pot of water. Cooking should take at least 20 minutes, then drain the bottles upside down.

Now your homemade limoncello is ready! Remember to put it in the freezer at least three hours before drinking or always keep it in the freezer to drink on any occasion!

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Once the limoncello is ready, it can be stored in the freezer. The alcohol and sugar will keep it from freezing, so don't worry. That way, by the time you want to drink it, it's already cold! Homemade limoncello should be drunk within three months from the date of preparation.

Why is it better to use ceramic tools?

To cut the lemon zest, it is better to use a ceramic knife or vegetable peeler. The ceramic preserves and does not alter all the active ingredients and benefits of the essential oils contained in the lemon peel.

Why is the glass kept in the dark and away from heat sources during the infusion?

Always keep jars and bottles in a cool, dark place during infusion and storage periods. These ingredients are sensitive to light and heat, so poor storage can affect the flavor of the limoncello.

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What Kind of Alcohol Should Be Used in Limoncello?

Limoncello is traditionally made in Italy with 95° alcohol. However, in some countries it cannot be found or its sale is prohibited. Then replace it with Everclear 190 proof which is the best choice for this recipe. As a final choice, you can even use a high quality 100% vodka.

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What are the best lemons?

You MUST use untreated organic lemons that may have been recently harvested from the plant and still have twigs and leaves hanging from them. In this way, their unmistakable aroma should be retained for as long as possible.
The best varieties of lemons to make limoncello are of course those of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast: the famous ones"Female of Santa Teresa"and the“Amalfi-Sfusato”. Very rich in essential oils and beneficial properties, these lemons give limoncello its wonderful aroma.
If you don't have Sorrento lemons, don't worry! Other varieties of lemon are also good, such as the Eureka or Lisbon lemon, which are common in Florida and California, for example.
In general, you should give preference to lemons with a rough, thick skin, large and, above all, untreated, better if they come from organic farming.
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How to serve limoncello

Serve limoncello ice cold, NOT with the addition of ICE. Keep it in the freezer to always have it ready to drink. Alcohol and sugar will keep the liquor from freezing, so don't worry! Otherwise, remember to put it in the freezer at least three hours before serving.

This wonderfully sweet liqueur is traditionally drunk as a digestif, especially in summer, and is said to stimulate digestion. So limoncello is a digestif, NOT an aperitif.

Serve limoncello in a shot glass that you need to chill in the freezer for a few hours.

As it has a high alcohol content, you should sip limoncello slowly to fully appreciate its unique and distinctive aroma.

Finally, limoncello is often used to add an alcoholic note to various desserts such as fresh fruit salads, lemon sorbet or gelato.

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What do you do with lemons after making limoncello?

Peeled lemons are what's left after making a homemade limoncello recipe. They're still good to use, but don't keep long in the fridge as they tend to go moldy quickly.

The best way not to waste them is to extract the juice right away. You can use lemon juice in many ways, most notably by making a fresh and refreshing lemonade or lemon sorbet.

However, if you can't use all the juice right away, we recommend a convenient and practical way to always have ready-to-use lemon juice on hand.

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Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into the ice cube tray, being careful not to drop the pits. Then put it in the freezer. After a day, the cubes are ready and you can take them out of the bowl and store them in the practical freezer bags. You can use a cube whenever you need lemon juice.

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You can also flavor the juice by adding chopped parsley or mint leaves or hot peppers depending on how you plan to use it.

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Limoncello: between history and legend

Limoncello certainly has its origins in the beautiful Gulf of Naples. But there are various stories and myths about the birth of this famous liquor, affecting monks, intellectuals and even Zeus and the Sirens.

Many credit the birth of limoncello to Mrs. Antonia Farace, who ran a small hotel with a beautiful lemon garden on the island of Capri in the early 1900s. She made a very good lemon liqueur for her guests and passed her recipe on to her son.

Around 1988, Mrs. Maria's son started a small artisanal production of lemon-based liqueurs, registering the brand. Thus was born the first official limoncello in history.

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But certainly limoncello has older origins.

A legend says that it was Zeus who revealed the secret recipe of this precious infusion to a resident of the lands of the Sirens.

Some claim that limoncello was known as early as Roman times, as evidenced by some frescoes in Pompeii.

For others, the recipe for limoncello was born in a monastery around 1700.

In short, the history of limoncello is full of legends and mysteries. What is certain is that at the beginning of the twentieth century, all families in Sorrento and the surrounding area always offered their illustrious guests a glass of limoncello liqueur.

Today, limoncello has become a symbol of Campania worldwide. It has also received the designation of a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). So in Italy the truly authentic limoncello is only the one made in the Sorrento area, the Amalfi Coast and the island of Capri.


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