Homemade Limoncello – Recipe Tuesday

Delicious Homemade Limoncello

Delicious Homemade Limoncello

Oh, the delicious joy of slowly sipping an icy shot of Limoncello. It brings back feelings of an Italian springtime and rolling Tuscan hills – even if you’ve never actually been to Italy! While this drink is definitely best when served in a tiny local village trattoria, it is possible (and very easy) to make at home to enjoy with family and friends. In fact, when we’re home, we typically make a big batch to bottle up for Christmas presents – in pretty bottles each with a label to “keep the empty bottle and we’ll re-fill it next year!”

Homemade gifts always offer a nice touch and these beautiful bottles of Limoncello can also help you stick to your holiday budget as well!  The bottles can typically be purchased wholesale for about $3.00.  If you want to get a little fancy you can get some nice ones at Pier 1 or World Market for $5.00 – $7.00. There are many variations of the recipe, including using orange zest for orange Limoncello, but this is our favorite one we have tweaked to perfection:

What you need:
7 large organic lemons
1 liter of pure grain alcohol or vodka
5 cups water
3 cups sugar

How to make it:

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the yellow zest from the lemons being careful to remove as much of the white pith from the peels as possible.  The pith will make the final product taste very bitter. Put the peels into a large glass jar or pitcher and add the alcohol. Cover the container with plastic wrap and let it steep for at least 5 days.  If you have extra time, 7 days of steeping is ideal. Try to avoid opening the container while the mixture is steeping. After the steeping time, heat the water until it just begins to boil and add the sugar stirring until the sugar fully dissolves in the water – about 5 minutes.  Let the sugar water cool completely then add to the alcohol/zest mixture.   Allow the mixture to set overnight in a cool place. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer or cheese cloth, discarding all the solid materials.  You are ready to fill up your beautiful bottles with your delicious homemade Limoncello. For best results be sure to serve the Limoncello chilled, directly from the freezer. Cheers!

Be sure to keep one bottle for your home too!

Be sure to keep one bottle for your home too!


About the author

Lisa is a traveler, photographer and pharmacist. She and her partner Cheryl MacDonald enjoy sharing inspiration and good health with fellow travelers!

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