Sunday, January 29, 2012

Getting a Head Start on Summer with Limoncello

There isn't quite anything like sipping on ice cold limoncello after dinner with good friends on a hot summer night. It does take time to make so you'll need to start now to have a good batch of it ready to go for those summer nights. Limoncello used to be hard to find but is gaining in popularity, however the good stuff is never cheap. You can easily make it at home and it tastes so much better. It's great to start now when you are probably drowning in extra lemons that you don't know what to do with. I prefer to use Lisbon or Eureka lemons over Meyer lemons. The Meyer's just don't offer the real lemony taste that I feel this drink calls for. Plus you would need about double the amount of Meyer's as they tend to be much smaller. The longer you let the mixture sit, the flavor will intensify but the alcoholic "zing" will mellow. I like to go about 20 days on each rest period to allow it to mellow while also having some intensity.  

  • 18 Lisbon or Eureka lemons, washed and dried
  • 2 750mL bottles of 100 proof vodka (I prefer Stolichnaya)
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 1/2 cups raw sugar
1. Avoiding the pith (white part of the peel) remove the lemon zest with a sharp knife or zester into a large glass or ceramic pitcher.
2. Pour one 750mL bottle of vodka over the zest, cover tightly and store in a cool dark place for 15-30 days.
3. In a saucepan combine water and sugar and heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool.
4. Add syrup and remaining vodka to the lemon zest and vodka mixture. Cover and let sit again in a cool dark place for 14-30 days.
5. Strain mixture into glass bottles and store in a cool dark place or give away as gifts.
6. Refrigerate before serving or pour over ice. A little goes a long way so I recommend serving it in cordial glasses.


  1. I never heard of this before.sounds like an enjoyable drink! and way fun for a Super Bowl party!

  2. Just remember that this is more of an aperitif than a shot. It's for sipping ice cold in small amounts and great for dessert.

  3. Mmmmm. I have a few bottles of this from last winter that I never got into. Maybe today's the day! Have you ever tried making it with grapefruit? I've always wanted to give it a whirl. But you know me and grapefruit, so that's not a surprise.

    Today I'm making lavender lemon curd from a giant basket of Meyers Davin brought home - yum!

  4. I haven't tried grapefruit mainly because Tom despises grapefruit. I hadn't had any in years but got a chance a few weeks ago to pick some and went on a total grapefruit binge.

    I'm pretty sure you can make this out of any citrus you want though.

  5. I am so making this as soon as I find the lemons. All that is available around me is meyers.

  6. I have a batch of this going too! I can't wait to try it later in the year. I did use Meyers because they are the ones I grow (and I had many). I read if you use the entire Meyer, the limoncello is more flavorful. This is my experimental batch. I plan to make one using Eurekas as well.

  7. I have been wanting to make this for over a year now! We first had it at our favorite Italian restaurant and the owner makes his own. SO good!!

    I've got to finally make this!!