Recipe: Limoncello Part I

24 Oct

What? Like you don't have copious amounts of vodka in your kitchen.

Limoncello is the delicious after-dinner drink served in Italy.  The Limoncello sold here in the States is a weird bottle of DayGlo yellow syrup.  Let’s make our own, shall we?

Ingredients (Part I):

  • 750mL vodka
  • 10 lemons; Traditional Limoncello is made with Sorrento lemons and as far as I know, these are not grown in the US.  Use whatever lemons are available to you; Meyer lemons will result in a less tart drink.


  1. Wash and peel lemons, taking care to avoid as much as the pith (white part) as possible.  The pith is very bitter and can alter the taste of the final product.  Put the peels in a large glass pitcher/jar/container.
  2. Pour vodka over peels.  Affix lid to container or cover with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band or tie.
  3. Set aside for one month.  Magic takes time.

I suppose many people equate this as a summertime drink, but lemons were on sale at my local market and I decided bottles of Limoncello would make great Christmas gifts this year.  So I went nuts and currently have over a gallon tucked away in my coat closet.

Peels from 50 lemons per gallon. I am now known as the Crazy Lemon Lady at my local market.

And don’t let those naked lemons go to waste; juice them!  I froze a fair amount of the juice that my sinkfull of lemons gave me:

Lemon juice keeps for quite a while in the fridge.  Use it in place of vinegar when making salad dressings or to brighten up pasta or rice dishes.  Make lemonade or cleaning products.  Whatever you do, don’t let it go to waste.

I’ll see you in a month for Part II.


Posted by on 24 October 2011 in Drinking, Recipes


Tags: ,

15 responses to “Recipe: Limoncello Part I

  1. John

    24 October 2011 at 08:17

    Mmmmmmmmmm – yeah, the stuff here in the US is downright odd.

    I need to think of stuff like this for holiday gifts . . . I was thinking of pumpkin bread – but it goes bad so quickly.

    • Smedette

      24 October 2011 at 08:20

      When I was at the liquor store, I spotted a bottle. What color is that?? Looked like it was from the set of a sci-fi film. I’ve never seen lemons that color ergo no drink made from lemons should be that color.

  2. Rosie

    24 October 2011 at 10:15

    I get a a twice yearly gift of limoncello from Italian friends. Just got the most recent one a few weeks ago… somehow have refrained from opening so far! Very impressed you make your own!

    • Smedette

      24 October 2011 at 10:23

      Thanks, Rosie. It’s more of a kitchen experiment at this point. Nothing can replace true Limoncello!

  3. kim

    24 October 2011 at 11:14

    I didn’t even know there were different types of lemons! It makes sense, but I guess I just never thought about it before.

    Either way…your skills continue to amaze me.

    • Smedette

      24 October 2011 at 20:12

      Thanks, Kim! Meyer lemons are usually “prized”; they are smaller, milder and are slightly sweet. However, being a tart-lover, I go for the big sour ones.

  4. Mad Woman (@MadWomanDiary)

    24 October 2011 at 12:20

    So, you don’t want to know that I have a lemon tree on hyperdrive do ya? Its a MASS PRODUCER…ALL YEAR LONG. Sadly, its not a meyer so it doesn’t make great lemonade but my friends have made limoncello from its fruit.

    To give you an idea of its production, there is a woman who comes once every few months to take my expansive harvest to the local food bank. On her last visit she left with 3 pickle buckets, 2 shopping bags and 2 baskets FULL of lemons. And there were still several left for us.

    But this is a great Christmas gift idea. I shall add this to my new “I made this at HOME list.”

    You, always an inspiration!

    So do you want my recipe for peanut butter cups?

  5. changinmind

    24 October 2011 at 15:28

    My Italian heart just loves you so much right now.

  6. jewel

    14 January 2012 at 17:21

    Hey Smedette, I found you through Punk Domestics and my displaced Portland heart adores your posts. I currently live in AZ and we are awash in naval oranges right now. Do you think that this limoncello recipe would work equally well for organgecello?


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