Having recently come back from being on vacation in Italy, I have been missing sipping on some limoncello after finishing my dinner. When I spotted some Sorrento lemons on sale at my grocery store for half of the price of regular lemons I knew it was a sign that I had to make some.
Although it requires some time for the lemon peels to steep in the alcohol, limoncello is really quite easy to make and is wonderful either by itself or as part of a mixed drink.
Limoncello is a lemon flavored liqueur from Southern Italy that is often served chilled as an after dinner digestivo. Traditionally made with Sorrento lemons it is especially famous in Sorrento, Capri and along the Amalfi Coast.
My first time drinking limoncello was when I was in Italy ten years ago and a waiter brought me a tiny glass for free after a meal. The sweet, lemony flavor always bring back memories of that trip and now memories of my recent trip as well. Salute!
P.S. If you want to know how I made the lemon design on my bottles, check out my DIY glass etching tutorial.
- 10 lemons
- 750 ml bottle of vodka
- 2-1/4 cups sugar
- 3 cups water
- Clean lemons and then using a peeler, peel the skin in wide strips
- Using a paring knife, remove all traces of the pith (white part)
- Place peels in a glass jar with vodka and let sit at room temperature for at least seven days
- Make simple syrup by bringing water and sugar to a boil
- After boiling for 15 minutes, allow simple syrup to cool to room temperature and stir in vodka mixture
- Using a cheesecloth, strain and then pour into glass bottles
Tips and Tricks
- If you can, try to use Sorrento lemons, but if you can't find them the recipe still works great with other lemons
- Ten lemons is based on a typical sized lemon so if your lemons are much bigger or smaller you can adjust the number
- Make sure to remove all of the pith otherwise the limoncello may have a bitter taste
- Instead of peeling the skin, you can use a zester but I like the large strips because I can save them to make into candied lemon peel
- After peeling the lemons, squeeze them for their juice which you can use in other recipes
- Allowing the lemon peels to steep longer is supposed to give a better flavor, but the most I can usually make myself wait is a week
- Adjusting the sugar to water ratio will make the limoncello more or less sweet depending on personal preference
- Storing your limoncello in the freezer ensures that it is always ready to be served