Remember a couple weeks ago when I posted my Grand Marnier recipe? Since it’s so simple and easy to make, I thought I would share another one of my favorite homemade liqueur recipes.
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur, made from lemon zest and simple syrup. It is commonly served as a digestif, but is also used in cocktails and other beverages. It’s got all the robust lemon flavor without the sour/bitter taste.
Store-bought Limoncello will set you back about $20-$30 for a small sized bottle but you can get an authentic tasting homemade one for considerably less than that. Plus it doesn’t take much active time to make it. This Limoncello also makes exquisite gifts – there’s nothing people love more than a homemade bottle of booze
A few tips before you get started:
- Make sure that your lemons are pesticide free – pick them from someone’s backyard tree or purchase some organic ones. We are using only the peel so this is important
- For the Vodka you will want the strong stuff – I recommend 100 proof (Smirnoff makes one) but if you can’t find it, you can use 80 proof – but nothing less! I don’t advise using Everclear, due to its grainy taste it will alter the flavor of the Limoncello.
- Get a giant glass jar with a lid. This is much easier than trying to divide it all up evenly between smaller jars. You can find them at some stores, but if you have trouble just get a huge Costco pickle jar and clean it out really good before you start.
- The steps for making this are almost identical to that of my Grand Marnier, so check out that post for step by step photos/instructions. Definitely check out this picture showing how your peels should look – it’s really helpful and important
I’m somewhat impatient so the 4 week wait time can be a little challenging – but trust me when I say that it is worth it! I like to check on it every couple of days to see its progress (and give the jar a little swirl). it’s cool to see it go from clear to a vibrant yellow color over the weeks.
Once my Limoncello is done I like to store it in the freezer, it tastes best when it’s ice cold. You can sip the Limoncello on its own after dinner, or enjoy it in a cocktail. Just add a little to some unsweetened iced tea and you have yourself a boozy little Arnold Palmer in no time flat. I’ve got a few other Limoncello drink recipes up my sleeve that I’ll be sharing on the blog later
- 10-12 Lemons, unsprayed or organic
- 750 ml Vodka (100 proof)
- 1½ cup water
- 2½ cups sugar
- Peel lemon into long strips using a vegetable peeler, taking only the rind and none of the white pith. If some of the white pith is on the peels, use a paring knife to trim it away and discard. Place lemon peels into a 2 quart glass jar, pour in vodka and stir gently. Cover jar and store in a cool, dry place for 4 weeks, stirring once a week.
- After vodka mixture has been stored for 4 weeks, Stir together water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, until sugar is completely dissolved. Let sugar mixture cool completely.
- In a fine mesh sieve strain lemon peels out of the vodka mixture and discard peels. Stir in sugar syrup into the vodka. Line the strainer with a coffee filter and pour the Limoncello through the filter. Once all of the mixture has filtered through replace with a new filter and strain again. Repeat this process 2-3 more times until Limoncello is clear.
- Transfer the Limoncello to bottles and refrigerate before serving. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 1 year.