This easy homemade limoncello recipe is very low effort and super high reward! All you need are lemons, Everclear, sugar, water, and patience.
what is limoncello?
Italian Limoncello is a lemon liqueur made with grain alcohol. I like to make my mine with Everclear.
It is consumed as either an aperitif (before dinner to whet the appetite) or as a digestif (after dinner to aid in digestion.)
how to drink it
Limoncello is best consumed when chilled then strained into a stemmed glass.
The type of glass you use is really at your discretion, many people enjoy using a small tulip-shaped grappa glass, but I stick with my Nick and Nora glasses, as they are easier to clean and one less thing to keep in the cupboards.
how to make limoncello
Although you can purchase it in the store, I find the store bought varieties to be syrupy in consistency and generally too sweet. Homemade limoncello is so much better, because you can control exactly how sweet you want the final lemon liqueur to be with how much simple syrup you add to it!
To make it:
- steep organic lemon peels in Everclear
- strain the liqueur and discard the lemon peels
- add simple syrup to taste
- store in the freezer for at least a year, if not indefinitely
If you like this homemade limoncello recipe, you might also like:
- 1 750 ml bottle of grain alcohol like Everclear
- 10 - 12 lemons
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups sugar
- First things first: clean those lemons! You don't want any wax or pesticides in your limoncello. I buy organic lemons if I can find them for a reasonable price and use a mushroom brush to give them a light scrub underwater, then a quick rinse.
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the yellow rind from all of your lemons. Avoid the white part (aka the pith) as this will make your final product bitter.
- Throw the peels in a large container with a lid, pour the alcohol over the peels and put the lid on it. Give it a good shake, because, well, shaking things is fun and gets those oils from the lemon peels moving, place it somewhere cool and dark for at least three weeks.
- After three weeks have passed, open the jar and strain the mixture, discarding the lemon peels. ( See Notes )
- Now, time to make the simple syrup which will sweeten your limoncello! I like a light syrup, so. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Turn the heat off and stir in the sugar, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow it to cool.
- Once cooled, add the lemon concoction to the simple syrup, stir to combine and pour into two 750-ml glass containers. It's best if stored in the freezer.
I updated the photos on this limoncello recipe, but I always love comparing old vs new, so here are the old photos!