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Limoncello Recipe

Popular in Italy, Limoncello is a lemon liqueur that's made by mixing lemon zest and sugar with a clean, distilled alcohol. It's amazing by itself, mixed with soda water, or drizzled over vegan vanilla ice cream. Unlike the traditional drink, this limoncello recipe is a little less sweet and syrupy and a little higher in alcohol and lemon flavor. I designed this Limoncello this way because I find traditional Italian Limoncellos to be too cloyingly sweet and syrupy to drink neat which is the way I prefer to drink liqueurs. This Limoncello is always a hit when it's brewed in larger batches, bottled into smaller bottles and given to friends at holiday gatherings.

Limoncello Recipe

10 unwaxed organic lemons
750 ml vodka

1/3 cup (78 ml) filtered water
½ cup (100 g) granulated white sugar

1) Zest your lemons and add the zest to a container with vodka

Zest the lemons and transfer the zest into a ½ gallon glass container. Using organic lemons here is important because non-organic lemon rinds can contain lots of pesticide residues. Add the vodka to the container. Let the container sit in a cool, dark place for two weeks. After two weeks, strain out the lemon zest. This can be done by using a cotton coffee filter placed in a funnel that is placed over a bottle.

2) Prepare the sugar water mixture

After two weeks have passed, whisk together the water and sugar in a medium sauce pan on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  

3) Transfer the sugar water to the vodka and age to perfection

Add the sugar water to the ½ gallon glass container, close the lid tightly and give it a shake. Keep in a cool, dark place for at least two more weeks. The longer you age it, the smoother it becomes. Store it in the freezer where it will keep for at least a couple years. Enjoy it cold. Makes about 1 liter of Limoncello.

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What type of vodka do you recommend for making your liquors? I have a friend making some Limoncello with whatever cheapest vodka he can find. He likes it.. I think it taste like Lemon Dawn.

Owner's reply

Great question Jennifer! I definitely wouldn't use cheap vodka for anything other than cleaning tree sap off of my car windshield;) For liqueurs I prefer medium quality vodkas such as Tito's, Stolichnaya or Smirnoff Triple Distilled. Higher quality vodka, less sugar and more lemon tends to move things away from the Lemon Dawn side of things. Good luck!

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