DIY Limoncello Recipe

DIY Limoncello Recipe

[Photograph: Liam Boylan]

Limoncello is a sweet, sunshine-colored liqueur made with lemon zest. Created in Italy as an after-dinner drink, it's light and delicate with just the right amount of alcohol intensity. Mix together different fruits and add a little lavender or rose petals for added complexity. If you can't wait two weeks, it will still taste great after only a week of steeping time. Leave it for up to three months, if you're patient.

  • Yield:Makes about 750 milliliters
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:15 days 20 minutes


  • 10 pesticide-free lemons
  • 375 milliliters high-proof neutral grain spirit (such as Everclear 151)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar


  1. 1.

    Zest the lemons using a Microplane zester. Reserve the lemons for another use.

  2. 2.

    Place the zest in a sealable glass container, pour in the spirit, seal and shake. Let mixture steep in a cool, dark place for two weeks.

  3. 3.

    Once your steeping period is over, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat and let this simple syrup cool.

  4. 4.

    Pour cooled simple syrup into lemon steeping mixture, and let this new mixture set for 24 hours.

  5. 5.

    Filter your limoncello twice: Place a coffee filter inside a funnel, then pour your steeped mixture through it into a bottle or bowl. Repeat.

  6. 6.

    Once you've filtered limoncello into your final bottle, refrigerate it overnight. Store in the refrigerator or freezer and enjoy!