Make homemade Limoncello with our easy recipe.
This easy recipe takes time so you’ll need to plan ahead! For best results allow at least two weeks from your first thought of making Limoncello at home to your first sip of the first batch. Yep. Once you taste what you’ve made, we’re pretty sure you’ll be making another batch by popular demand. Limoncello is traditionally made throughout Italy and served ice cold in the Summer. This recipe will keep well in the fridge or freezer for a month or more and yields about 1 1/2 quarts of fine, mellow liqueur.
10 – 12 Fresh lemon zest (strips of lemon peel, without the bitter pith. Your potato peeler will work well for this job. Save the lemon flesh and juice for lemon bars, lemon curd or try Lavender Lemonade.)
1 Bay Laurel Leaf
1 – 2 Vanilla Beans
1 750 ml bottle of Vodka
2 1/2 cups of white sugar
3 1/2 cups water
You’ll need a large airtight jar with a capacity of approximately 2 quarts. I use a cookie jar with an airtight seal. The jar is opaque and does not allow light to reach the contents. If your jar is transparent, you’ll need a dark cupboard where your Limoncello can rest, undisturbed for a couple of weeks.
Place lemon zest strips in the bottom of your Limoncello jar. Add Vanilla Beans (adds a mellow tone) and Bay Leaf (adds a sharp low note) to jar and cover with Vodka. Seal the top with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool, dark place for 10 days. Let the peels macerate undisturbed. No stirring, mixing or peeking allowed.
When the Vodka/fruit mixture is fully rested, heat sugar in water over medium heat in a saucepan until sugar is completely dissolved. Do not overheat, this will cause the sugar to burn and become bitter. You are basically making simple syrup. This step takes about 5 minutes. You’ll notice a change in the body of the liquid once all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Once cooled to room temperature, add the sugar water (syrup) to your Limoncello jar. Reseal with plastic wrap and let everything rest for an additional day or two. Once your Limoncello is completely rested, strain (a coffee filter works great for this) and decant into clean (sterilized) glass bottles. Discard peels, beans and leaf. Place in refrigerator or freezer. If you are making this as a gift, you can add beautiful labels, tags or even a fancy bottle stopper. Serve ice cold in small, chilled glasses, pour over vanilla ice cream or add to sparkling water or champagne. This Limoncello is an amazing glaze for tea cakes and lemon loaves mixed with a little water and powdered sugar.
Do you have your own recipe for Limoncello? What do you add that makes your blend unique? We’d love to hear. Next batch for us: Blood Orange!Here are some visuals for your convenience (Amazon affiliate links). Some Limoncello jars are strictly decorative. Use a food safe pottery or glass jar for this recipe. Have fun! Good luck and let us know how it turns out.