The Care and Feeding of Limoncello

April 9, 2008 · 10 comments · Print This Post

in Beverages

I'll Drink You No Matter What!

I feel like I’ve suddenly acquired a lemon slice filled aquarium. Should I name the curly pieces of zest that float about in their sea of Absolut all day? Lucy? Lola? Is that you?!

Honestly I had no idea that making lemon flavored booze would illicit such a strong and varied response from the world at large. I suppose I should have guessed as much given the vast array of recipes and tips I found online for making limoncello at home. I essentially closed my eyes and pointed to pick the one I used. C’est la vie!

Last evening I finished step 2 (the addition of a simple syrup concoction) in what I’ve been warned might possibly yield a frozen lemon mess with bitter overtones — to which I can only reply, I assure you, I’ve drank much worse.

Limoncello (Recipe originally published by Giada DeLaurentiis)
10 lemons
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.

Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kevin April 9, 2008 at 6:52 am

Making your own Limoncello sounds like fun.


2 rachel April 9, 2008 at 8:06 am

When Matt made it, he made us wait like 3 months to drink it so it would be super lemony or something. It was torture!


3 Elle April 9, 2008 at 8:09 am

Erin, it looks like it’s coming along very nicely! You made me laugh out loud at naming the lemon peels, hehe. I’m sure it’ll be delicious!


4 Sarah April 9, 2008 at 8:17 am

What a good idea! I can’t wait to hear how it turns out!!


5 We Are Never Full April 9, 2008 at 8:49 am

THis is great! We were married and honeymooned in Italy last year and since we got back we’ve been wanting to make Limoncello. after drinking what seems like VATS of it last summer, it’s such an awesome after dinner drink. now we just need to figure out how to make sambuca and i’ll be all set!

amy @


6 Denise & Lenny April 9, 2008 at 12:48 pm

We have made this before – different recipe. Ours had to sit and marinate for a month before bottling up. It came out light and delicious but not as vibrant as Lemoncello usually is! I will have to try this recipe.


7 Francie April 9, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Oooh, Erin. Can I come over and split this with you?


8 Simply...Gluten-free April 10, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Oh how beautiful. Limoncello is such a lovely way to end a summer’s dinner. This is my first time here – great blog!


9 Melissa April 10, 2008 at 10:12 pm

I have made Giada’s recipe, and it’s fabulous–you’re going to love it. In addition to being a lovely drink, it also makes a fabulous dessert poured over little scoops of lemon sorbet in a Champagne flute, garnished with a mint sprig–perfect on a hot summer evening.


10 Alice Q. Robertson April 19, 2008 at 11:36 am

I guess I’ll have to try this – since we have so many lemons! Hope you enjoy it!


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