Limoncello (Organic, Italian Lemon Liquor)

It's my most talked about recipe on the blog.  Make some today.  Buona Domenica.

Step 1
8-10 Organic Lemons.   Organic lemons tend to have thick skin with lots of oils.  Clean and dry your lemons.  In a bowl peel the skins away. Save your lemons for juice for another recipe.  You can extract the juice and freeze. You will not need any juice for this recipe. All the flavor comes from the peels.    Set aside your bowl of peelings.
1 large clean and sanitized mason jar (one liter size)
1 liter of Everclear or 100 proof vodka.  Everclear works best.  However due to laws in various states, the product isn't always available.  Do not be afraid of alcohol content as your end result will be diluted and your proof will drop considerably.
Place your lemon peels in a mason jar. Pour you everclear into your jar and close the lid tightly so no air can get in.
Place your jar in a cool/ dry place for approx 7 days.  By the end of your 7 days your jar may look a bit cloudy.  Your peels will look almost freeze dried.. Do not worry as this is a normal process of the oils being extracted from your peels.
Step 2
2 cups sugar
1 liter of spring water
On your stovetop prepare your sugar syrup.  Whisking gently combine until your sugar is dissolved and your water is clear.  Set aside to cool for one hour.
Step 3
 Add your sugar syrup to your mason jar with your peels.   Let sit 5 more days.
 Step 4
One large bowl covered with a strainer
For this process, you wlil need to strain your lemon liquid into your bowl.     This will ensure any debris that has been extracted from your lemon peels doesn't end up in your limoncello.
 Carefully pour your Limoncello into your bottle with tight  fitting lid.  At this point if you have used 100 proof vodka, you must refrigerate.  The product can no be kept in the freezer.  Your addition of sugar syrup will reduce your alcohol content.
If you have used Everclear, you may place in the freezer since your end result is above 85 proof.   Which ever way, keep cool before serving.
Pour into  chilled shot glasses~ garnish with lemon mint.


NickMGombash said…
Oh my gosh.. I'm starting this today! My cousin's best friend went to Italy in the beginning of summer and brought back some Limoncello. It was heaven and I've been craving it since!
I know somebody who this would make a perfect gift for.. Another thing to add to my list..
I drank this is Rome and loved it
Michele said…
Are you transferring the lemon peels and vodka to a larger container to accommodate the liter of sugar syrup?
You can re use the same container or pour into a clean container. I prefer to pour into a clean container. Good luck. It's alot of fun and not as complicated as one thinks. Enjoy! Thank you, Barbara
I thought I had lost this recipe. Craving it. Must make again! I so love this, and your blog. <3
Kim Marchese said…
I have made limoncello several times. One time I made it with Everclear and I found the taste to be so overpowering that I did not enjoy it at all! I usually buy a high quality vodka and produce a much smoother taste. I also cut off all the pith so that there's just a thin almost transparent peel. It's a fun process, you have to be patient!
Hi Kim,
The issue with the use of Everclear is this;
Once the sugar syrup is added, the alcohol content is brought down to less than half. If the Everclear is used, your content will be above 85 proof and therefore can be placed in the freezer without actually freezing. If it falls bellow 85 proof, the product will freeze. If you prefer your limoncello out of the refrigerator, the use of vodka will work. Just keep in mind, you can not freeze it as it will harden and be of no use except for a popsicle. ;) I do agree, it does have a much more intense "alcohol" taste. If you do not like it, vodka is fine. I sometimes use 100 proof vodka. The method is the same.
I would love to make this for Christmas gifts. How much does the recipe yield and what size containers are you using for the finished product?
Thanks so much-
Hi Mary,
It will yeild about a liter.
It's going to depend how much you spill when draining. I get very little waste. I like to use pretty little jars with lids and labels to make it more personal. Yes, it's great for gifts.
barbara Giacometti
Sunday at the giacometti's
Hi Barbara,
I finally made the limoncello for Christmas gifts and did use the Everclear so it could be kept in the freezer. I made a LOT and followed the recipe exactly. The result is a product that so overpowering I could only take a few sips. I am used to drinking straight scotch and other alcoholic beverages so I was surprised at the effect. I am so disappointed as I am sure the friends that would be receiving this could not drink it.
Here's hoping you can suggest a remedy to help tone it down.
Thanks for your help-
Momselle (Mary) Glasgow

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