How To Make Limoncello

How to Make Limoncello

Learn how to make Limoncello so you can serve your friends a wonderful italian digestivo after dinner and be able to claim “I made this!”. You’ll have everyone crying out “delizioso!”

Limoncello is a southern italian lemon liqueur. It is traditionally made with big, fat, juicy, organic Sorrento lemons. Although outside of Italy they may be hard to find, any organic or un-waxed lemons will do just fine. Summer lemons are best because they are juicier, sweeter and fresher.

The poor lemon is sometimes neglected when making cocktails, but it is a useful and beneficial ingredient and should not be forgotten. In this limoncello recipe, it is the star ingredient. Although there are many different ways to make limoncello, we will give you a short version and a long (but tasty) version.

When learning how to make Limoncello, keep in mind it can be made with either vodka or grappa (an italian ‘grape-based’ alcohol) and the peel or zest of a lemon. It is supposed to take a few weeks to sit and age and allow the beautiful flavor of the alcohol and the lemon to balance – 40 days is what the Italians themselves recommended. Although if your dinner party is next weekend, we’ve got two Limoncello recipes for you, one that takes 40 days and one that takes just 7 days – 33 days faster.

What you Need to Make Limoncello

you will need:

  • 10 Lemons
  • 1 litre of Vodka
  • 500g of Sugar
  • Clean water
  • Lemon zester (or a knife)
  • Empty bottles – 1 litre or larger or a container with a sealable lid

It is best to let your Limoncello recipe sit longer so it has the opportunity to soak up all the oils from the lemons. Many people like to make several bottles and allow them to sit for months before giving them away as gifts or serving them when special occasions arise. If you have the time, opt for the 40 day recipe. But if you’re thirsty now, you might want to try the 7 day recipe below.


Limoncello Glasses

If you’re wanting to do everything the right way (the Italian way), when learning how to make Limoncello, insist on serving it in the right kind ofglasses. The Limoncello glasses you’d be served in Naples, Sorrento, or Calpri are commonly tall, straight shot glass like these ones.


Limoncello Bottles

Another big question people have while learning how to make Limoncello is “What kind of bottle do you use to store your Limoncello?” Well, any kind of container where the lid is tight fitting will do. But if you’re wanting to make Limoncello as a gift you might want something a little fancier. Here are some options of the kinds of bottles people make Limoncello in. Of course their are many interesting shapes and sizes. Some people even use mason jars.


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the Barman

Reese Richards aka "the Barman" is a 20+ year veteran of the bar industry and founder of His goal is to bring the joy of bartending to as many people around the world as possible by producing high quality content in the form of articles, interviews, infographics, recipes, videos and training courses.