limoncello in a frosted coupe glass
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Homemade Limoncello

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Homemade Limoncello is a delicious lemon-infused Italian Liqueur. It is a fun summer drink to share with friends or give as a lovely homemade gift.

Summertime is upon us yet again. Which means the high 90-degree days are coming. Time spent outdoors will be carefully planned for early mornings, poolside midday, or later evening for dinners in the garden. The middle of the day heat is a bit too much for me. It gets pretty hot where we live and so I tend to avoid the mid-day heat as much as I can. But even with the heat, summer is a time for a more relaxed schedule and for that I am ever so grateful.

I love finding things to look forward to each season. As sort of a way of welcoming the changing of the seasons. Making this Homemade Limoncello has become one for summertime for me. Although I am not much of a “drinker”. However, I do love to have friends over, and serving this chilled after a meal is a great way to enjoy a summer evening together. It is so simple to make as you will see and for this it is likely one you continue coming back to as I have.

While we are on the subject of summer I want to quickly share a couple of other recipes for your summer table. Like this Simple Tomato Confit or this Simple Peach Tart. For the main course, this Grilled Spatchcock Chicken is lovely to serve, and lastly, this Fresh Dill Potato Salad pairs nicely alongside any or all of the recipes listed.

Now back to the subject of Homemade Limoncello but first.

What is Limoncello?

Limoncello is an Italian-style liqueur made from infused lemon peels. Traditionally Limoncello is served after a meal as a digestif in a chilled shot glass and is meant to be enjoyed sipped. However these days it is used to make all sorts of mixed drinks and even desserts. Which below you can find several ways to use your Homemade Limoncello.

In Italy, traditionally they allow their peels and vodka to infuse for quite a bit longer than what we will be doing today. However, most of the flavor comes out of the peels within the first five days so we are able to make up a quick batch in much less time. Still creating a delicious homemade limoncello.

What You Will Need To Make Homemade Limoncello

8 organic lemons

1 liter of vodka

1 liter of water

3 cups of sugar

Directions For Homemade Limoncello

Begin by washing your lemons well. Towel dry them to remove the excess water on the peels.

Then take a vegetable peeler and begin peeling just the outside yellow portion of the peel. Be careful not to get any of the bitter white portions on your peels.

If you do, take a pairing knife and cut away the rind from the peel. You don’t want your Homemade Limoncello to have that bitter taste of the rinds. When all 8 lemons are peeled.

Take just the peels and add them to a mason jar and pour the liter of vodka in.

Place the lid on and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 days.

After five days your infused alcohol is ready to use. Add the water to a saucepan along with the sugar to make a simple syrup. Heat until the sugar is dissolved into the water just until it boils. This takes about 5 minutes. Allow the simple syrup to cool completely.

Simple syrup may have a brown tint if using raw sugar

When ready, use a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl to strain the lemon peels from the infused alcohol. (I also use a cheesecloth just to make to capture any small pieces of the peel.) But that is completely optional.

Pour the simple syrup into the bowl and stir the limoncello well to combine.

Pour the limoncello into awaiting flip-top style bottles. Allow it to sit overnight at room temperature.

Then when ready, place the bottle into the freezer to chill before serving. When serving, place the shot glasses into the freezer as well for an hour or so to chill them.

Then serve the limoncello in the chilled shot glass or find other wonderful uses for your Homemade Limoncello as mentioned below.

Tips For Homemade Limoncello

  • Instead of tossing the peeled lemons, make a batch of lemonade. Or juice the lemons and store the lemon juice in a mason jar inside the fridge for cooking.
  • Be sure to keep the lemon peels and vodka at room temperature.
  • Use unwaxed, organic lemons.
  • Cut any white flesh off the peel with a pairing knife to ensure none of the white portions of the lemon are left on the peels.
  • Each batch is good for 3 months. Keep chilled in the fridge.
  • If you can’t find unwaxed lemons, thankfully it’s easy to remove the wax. You can do so by heating a tea kettle with hot water and pouring the hot water over the lemons.

Other Uses for Homemade Limoncello

  • Homemade Limoncello can be used in desserts such as gelato, limoncello pound cake, and cheesecakes to name just a few.
  • Spice up a store-bought vanilla ice cream by pouring limoncello over then garnishing with a biscotti cookie.
  • It is also a great addition to mixed drinks which is my primary use for making Homemade Limoncello. Try adding limoncello to some sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice. Or make a blueberry lemon cocktail with sparkling water, limoncello, and fresh blueberries.

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64 oz Mason Jar

Kitchen Aid Peeler

Fine Mesh Strainer

Cheesecloth

Swing Top Bottles Set of 2 (33.75 oz each)

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homemade limoncello in a swing-top bottle

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limoncello in a frosted coupe glass

Homemade Limoncello

Yield: 2 liters
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 6 days
Total Time: 6 days 20 minutes

a sweet lemon-infused Italian liquor

Ingredients

  • 8 organic lemons
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 liter of vodka
  • 1 liter of water

Instructions

    1. Begin by washing your lemons well. Towel dry them to remove the excess water on the peels. Then take a vegetable peeler and begin peeling just the outside yellow portion of the peel. Be careful not to get any of the bitter white portions on your peels. If you do, take a pairing knife and cut away the rind from the peel. You don't want your Homemade Limoncello to have that bitter taste of the rinds.
    2. When all 8 lemons are peeled. Take just the peels and add them to a mason jar and pour the liter of vodka in. Place the lid on and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 days.
    3. After five days your infused alcohol is ready to use. Add the water to a saucepan along with the sugar to make a simple syrup. Heat until the sugar is dissolved into the water just until it boils. This takes about 5 minutes.
    4. Allow the simple syrup to cool completely.
    5. When ready, use a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl to strain the lemon peels from the infused alcohol. (I also use a cheesecloth just to make to capture any small pieces of the peel.) But that is completely optional.
    6. Pour the simple syrup into the bowl and stir the limoncello well to combine. Pour the limoncello into awaiting flip-top style bottles.
    7. Allow it to sit overnight at room temperature.
    8. Then when ready, place the bottle into the freezer to chill before serving. When serving, place the shot glasses into the freezer as well for an hour or so to chill them.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 46 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g

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