I have been making Limoncello for many years since I first tasted it on a trip to the Almafi coast in the early 90’s and for some reason the recipe I had posted on an earlier version of this blog was lost. This liqueur is so easy to make though, and is perfect after a meal on a warm summer evening so I decided I needed to post the recipe once again. Traditionally, making limoncello simply involves steeping the peel of organic lemons in grain alcohol for a week or two, then straining the mixture and sweetening it with a simple syrup. The oils from the lemons infuse the alcohol with the true essence of the lemon creating a wonderful liqueur.
Grain alcohol is not that easy to find back in North America in some areas, so an unflavored vodka would work instead. I have played with my limoncello ingredients throughout the years and like to add the peel of an orange or two in with my lemons which I feel adds a depth of flavor. The simple syrup can be added until you obtain the sweetness level you prefer, although I have included the amount I generally use. We store our Limoncello in the freezer, and because of the alcohol in the mixture it never completely freezes, but remains a cold, slushy drink that is delicious served in tiny amounts after a heavy meal. It is important to remove the yellow peel only, and not the white part which would make the mixture bitter.
Deborah Mele 2011
- Peel From About 15 Organic Lemons (or 2 Pounds) - See Note Above
- Peel From 2 Organic Oranges
- 1 Quart Grain Alcohol (Or Unflavored Vodka)
- 4 Cups Sugar
- 4 Cups Water
- Place the colored part of the peels only of the lemons and oranges in a large bottle or container with a lid, and pour the grain alcohol on top.
- Close with a lid and store in a dark place for 10 days to two weeks.
- Strain the mixture well, returning it to the bottle.
- In a pot, boil the sugar and water together until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Cool to room temperature and then add the simple syrup mixing well.
- Taste to ensure adequate sweetness and then store in the freezer or refrigerator.