Introduction: Limoncello Recipe

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Limoncello is a classic Italian liqueur. The process involves using the zest of the lemon peels, which are high in oils, and then steeping in alcohol to impart the lemony-flavour. Traditionally this lovely liquor is made from Sorrento lemons, but common Eureka lemons are just as good. 

You can easily make your own version on limoncello with lemons (or just about any other citrus fruit), splash of sweetener and a healthy dash of vodka.  What are you waiting for? Grab some lemons and follow along to make your own variant of this delicious mouth-puckering drink!

When life gives you lemons, make limoncello!

Step 1: Ingredients + Supplies

  • citrus fruit / fruit
    • lemons
    • limes
    • grapefruits
    • (kiwi)
  • grain alcohol / vodka (any type)
  • sugar
  • cheese grater
  • glass bottles / jars


Grain alcohol is ideal as it's high in alcohol content and is flavourless, however it's not available in some places. Vodka works just fine.

Step 2: Zest Fruit

Using the fine grating side of a cheese grater, take the zest off your fruit. The zest of the fruit is the coloured portion of the fruit skin and the white portion below is called the pith, the zest holds the oil of the fruit while the pith is bitter. You want all zest and no pith. 

Each jar was filled with fruit zest. For the kiwi I sliced into small segments and then muddled the pieces in the jar. After, each jar was filled with vodka. The remaining fruit can be made into a citrus meringue, squeezed to make fresh juice, or maybe you can find some creative uses

Step 3: Wait

After filling each jar was capped and set aside to steep for about 10 days, shake every few days to ensure a good mix.

During this time the zest will infuse the vodka with flavour and colour. Ensure your zest (or fruit) is completely submerged in alcohol to prevent the fruit from rotting while it's steeping.

Step 4: Strain + Sweeten

After the zest has steeped in vodka for a few days it's time to strain. Using a cheesecloth and a funnel transfer the zesty-vodka to a clean bottle. I chose a decorative bottle, but any bottle with a resealable cap will work.
Make sure to squeeze the cheesecloth after straining to ensure all liquid is removed from the zest.

Next a solution of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) was added to the strained liquid, this will make the drink more palatable and less bitter. The amount of syrup to add depends on personal taste. I used about 90ml (3 fl.oz) pf simple syrup for 270ml (9fl.oz) of alcohol. 

Step 5: Serve!

Limoncello is served chilled (in chilled glasses) and typically consumed after dinner as a digestif, but is great any time you want a tart refreshment. Try it over vanilla ice cream for a zesty twist on your dessert!


Did you make your own version limoncello? Post a picture in the comments below.

Happy making :)