Limoncello is a lemon alcoholic drink traditionally made in the southern regions of Italy. It is a sweet and tangy beverage that is usually served on cracked ice as a dessert. Homemade limoncello does take some time. The lemon and alcohol must steep for two weeks, and then it must age for more weeks in the refrigerator.

Things You'll Need

Use a sharp knife or potato peeler to remove the outer zest from the lemons. Place the zest in a jar. Line the inside of wire mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Squeeze the lemons and strain the juice through a fine wire mesh strainer to remove as much pulp as possible. Add the lemon juice to the lemon zest.

Pour 750 cc’s of pure grain alcohol into the lemon zest and juice. Don’t use an alcohol in this recipe that would impart too much of its own flavor into the Limoncello.

Cap the alcohol and lemon mixture and store it in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Agitate the mix every day.

Strain the mix again to remove as many lemon particles as possible. Combine 5 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Add this syrup to the lemon and alcohol, and let it sit in the refrigerator for two more weeks.

Decant the finished limoncello into bottles. Store the bottles in the refrigerator.


  • Real Italian limoncello is made with Sorrento lemons. If those can’t be found, try Meyer lemons.