Introduction: Homemade Limoncello

About: A Mechanical Engineer with way too many hobbies

Have you ever had some fantastic Limoncello? Unfortunately, it can be hard to find in liquor stores. Fortunately, you can make your own!

Items Needed:

Vegetable peeler or zester
2 Coffee filters
1 Strainer
1 Measuring glass
1 Pot
Storage bottles


Should be adjusted based on size of batch and alcoholic content desired (formula is given later)

- 1 Liter of grain alcohol, Usually Everclear, there are 2 versions, 190 and 150 proof, adjust final alcoholic content to taste.
- Lemon Zest from 8 or so Organic Lemons, this is to prevent pesticides/wax from getting into your drink, ONLY use smooth yellow lemons, NO green
- 5 Cups of water
- 3 Cups of sugar

This recipe with 190 proof Everclear will end up being around 80 proof and it will definitely warm you up inside.

The lowdown on the recipe Excel file

The File only requires you to fill out the two Blue cells and adjust the Orange cell for strength.

1) Fill in your grain alcohol's %
2) Fill in the batch size you want to make
3) Adjust the Orange (Amt water) cell to get desired Proof / %Alcohol

If you think I did fuzzy math, it isn't. I had to calculate the dissolved volume of sugar for alcoholic %

Mix your own test batches to find what you like both %Alcohol and sweetness. That is what I did.

Step 1: Zest Lemons and Steep in Alcohol

1) Wash and dry all of your Organic lemons. You should not use any lemons with green spots.

2) Zest lemons using a vegetable peeler or zester. The aroma should make you want to eat lemon peels or zest lemons all the time just for the smell.

WARNING! Do NOT cut deep into the white pith of the fruit. If you do, it will make the drink bitter. If you can see white like in the photo with the red oval you went too deep. Find the piece that came off and throw it away.

3) Place all of your zests into the container with the grain alcohol. You may need a special container or stainless steel pot with lid.

4) Let sit for 2 weeks or until the zest has lost its color and are crispy. I found that 3 weeks tasted no better than a test batch at 2 weeks.

5) The Everclear will take on a deep yellow (urine color) as seen in the pic. It may look like urine now but it will taste soo good!

Step 2: Prepare Alcohol and Mix

1) Take 2 coffee filters, place them in a strainer, and filter your lemon infused Everclear

WARNING! Everclear is very flamable! Before disposing any items soaked in Everclear, put them under water in the sink. This will prevent them from spontaneously combusting. Currently, this probably won't happen because with the Polar Vortex outside its about 0°F outside but better to play it safe.

Do not try to put the coffee filters in the sink and light them on fire to see how flammable Everclear is. I'm serious. Lol

2) Use the Excel sheet calculator given at the beginning of this instructable to calculate your mixture.

3) Make a simple syrup by placing the measured amount of sugar into the measured amount of water in a pot.

4) Place the pot on the stove and heat until all of the sugar is dissolved.

5) Cool the simple syrup.

6) Measure out the calculated amount of lemon infused Everclear and pour into your bottle using a funnel.
For my bottles I bought some sweet 500 ml swing top flasks. The best part is they look great and are easily resealable.

7) Using a funnel, pour the simple syrup into the bottle.

8) Cap the bottle and give it a shake.

Step 3: The Finale!

1) You have made Limoncello!!!

2) Let sit for at least a week to mello and take a little of the edge off.


Serving / Tasting Notes:

Limoncello is best served right after removing the bottle from the freezer as a dessert drink.
It is best poured into 2 oz liqour glasses and sipped. Look for glasses at Salvation Army or Goodwill. Do NOT shoot it like a shot, that is alcohol abuse. It is too good for that.

Finally, Try it on vanilla ice cream! or Sorbet!

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