Limoncello (Lemoncello, Limoncella)

"Limoncello, Sicily's signature liqueur, is easy to make at home. Perfect for those hot summer days... a cool explosion of the senses. This is the best Limoncello recipe I have come across, I think the secret that makes this one stand apart is the addition of the zest from one lime. Please use organic lemons and limes for this recipe. If they are not organic soak them in water for 1/2 an hour or so before zesting. Also it has been pointed out that it is best to use under-ripe fruit. Once made... there are so many uses; spiking lemonade, flavoring cocktails and splashing onto ice cream, poundcake or fresh fruit. You can substitute the peel of 15 limes for the lemon peel. Total time: 30 minutes, plus at least 4 weeks infusing time"
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by NoraMarie photo by NoraMarie
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
Ready In:
9 1/4 Cups




  • Remove yellow part of lemon peel either with micro-plane or sharp peeler. If any pith remains on the back of a strip of peel, scrape it off.
  • Place peels in a large jar with screw-top lid or sealed with clamps and cover with one bottle of vodka.
  • Leave mixture to mellow for 2 weeks in a dark place.
  • After mixture sets, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature (This is very important- if the sugar syrup is still warm the limoncello will result cloudy instead of limpid).
  • Using a coffee filter or fine sieve, strain the vodka from the peels and mix it with the remaining bottle of vodka and the syrup. Put the liqueur in bottles, seal tightly (cork or screw-top lid) and let the components marry, in a dark place, for at least 10 days before using.
  • For drinking straight, store the Limoncello in the freezer.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Risa P.
    Do you add lime peels with the lemon peels and vodka? The recipe doesn’t mention them after the ingredients.


  1. Lou6566
    Did a comparison test to compare lemoncello made with sugar, versus splenda. Here are the results.If I gave it star ratings, the original with sugar would get a 5 star, and the one with splenda would be a 3 star. let me begin by stating I used this recipe for both comparisions. There is nothing wrong with the lemoncello made with splenda.. IF you don't compareit to the one made with sugar, you'll be happy. With splenda it is fine. But, side by side with lemoncello made with regular sugar, the sweetness intensity is not there: its slightly less sweet. Also, It is slightly cloudy compared to regular lemoncello. The sweetness is stronger in the lemoncello(regular) made with sugar.Over all, it is really quite close if you are not a 'lemoncello gourmet'. Also, I used the same recipe in both the regular, and the splenda lemoncello experiment. I simply substituted the splenda for the sugar. By the way, we tried lemoncello on vanilla ice cream and topped it all with whipped cream.. Delicious. March 27...Made this using splenda several times, since the previous post, and wanted to let everyone know that you DO need to increase the splenda because it doesn't make it as sweet as the same amount of sugar does. Also, If you handle your container gently, and not stir up the settlings, you can strain it through several layers of cheese cloth, twice, and it does so much better. We won't be using sugar anymore.
  2. Sydney Mike
    Made this recipe in preparation for making two other recipes ~ recipe #191141 because I love making biscotti, & recipe #301042 for some drinking friends of mine! But, back to this recipe for a basic limoncello! It's interesting, I think, that as long as people have been making of limoncello there is a wide variety of ways to make it (as with most really old concoctions), & one is just as ligitimate as the next, in my book! That said, I found this recipe to make up a WONDERFUL LIMONCELLO, & just what I needed for other recipes! Thanks for sharing yours! [Made & reviewed while touring Italy on Zaar's World Tour 4]
  3. Da Huz
    This recipe is perfect, tastes just like the limoncello we've had in Italy. And so easy! We typically cut the amount of syrup in half, but only because we like it less sweet, not because there's a problem with the recipe. Personal preference.
  4. Pound Cake
    I am making this recipe now! I just made the simple syrup and ready to add and let sit for about two weeks before straining and bottling. My lemons zest has been fermenting for about 30 days now. I peeled the lemons with ease using a vegetable/potato peeler. No pith! Made it very easy and efficient. I know this may be a disaster I added whole vanilla bean to mellow out the sharpenss. I will let you know if it did or did not work. Oh Smelly06 something the yellow drink you are referring to back in 2006 was pastis. It is very popular for an apertif in France. Tastes like licorice/anise. Yummy. Suppose to have pastis mixed with water and sip on it. I ordered this in Paris however the waitress forgot the water. Hilarious my french friend was shocked that I could chug without being diluted. Funny time...
  5. scnorman
    I've been wanting to try to make Limoncello for ever now and I'm so glad to come across this recipe. Very authentic...I asked some Italian friends. I only had 80 proof vodka and had to leave out the lime because they aren't available here right now. Also, I halved the recipe. Fab!!! I'm thinking of all kinds of ways to use this.


  1. Da Huz
    I like my limoncello less sweet, so I cut the amount of syrup in half.


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