You know the old saying…when life gives you lemons make limoncello! Or something like that. This is a fun, easy to make liquor. When it’s hot, we enjoy it on the rocks with some club soda poured over to make a fizzly adult beverage. Others like to store the bottle in the freezer and sip it ice cold. No matter how you like it, it’s easy to make a batch so you’ll have some for yourself and some to give as gifts. It takes about three weeks to prepare a batch so if you start now, you’ll have some ready to serve at Thanksgiving. Read on to see how to make limoncello at home.
Materials and ingredients to make about 2 quarts of limoncello
- Lemons, of course. Since you will be extracting the oils from the peels, consider purchasing organic lemons. Use 10 lemons if large, 12 if smaller. You’ll only use the peels. I juiced my lemons. The juice kept for a couple weeks in the fridge before it lost quality.
- 750ml bottle of vodka. Top shelf not required, I used a mid priced Polish vodka we find to be very smooth.
- Peeler or sharp paring knife. This is to remove the peels and cut away the bitter white pith.
- 2 quart jar or bottle. I used a glass pitcher.
- Sugar. You won’t need this until after the lemon peels have steeped in the vodka. Adjust the amount to suit your tastes, anywhere from 2 to 4 cups for a single batch.
- Sealable bottles for gifts and/or storage (16 ounces is a good size for gifts…you’ll need 4 for a batch). Be sure to give them a good cleaning before use.
There are tons of recipes on the internet for making limoncello, but they’re all variations of this one from Allrecipes.
- 10 -12 lemons, preferable organic. Peels cut into strips and pith cut away
- 750 ml vodka
- 2 - 4 cups sugar (I used 3)
- 4 cups water
- Combine the lemon peel and vodka in a jar. Cover loosely and let set for a week.
- After a week, combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil without a lot of stirring. Continue to boil for 15 minutes or so until it's like a thin syrup. Let cool to room temperature.
- When cool, strain the lemon vodka into the syrup, reserve some of the peels.
- Get your bottles ready. Place a couple peels in the bottom and use a funnel to transfer the limoncello into the bottles. Seal and let age for another two weeks.
If you have room, store the limoncello in the freezer. Many people enjoy it served in as a shot. Personally, I find it to be too sweet and prefer to mix it with club soda for a spritzer-y drink. If you’re feeling adventurous try these 3 limoncello cocktails from Food & Wine magazine. We like the Limoncello Collins.