Making Limoncello

By Kate Riley April 30, 2019

I have a lemon tree just outside my studio window that I share with fellow tenants. It goes unnoticed mostly and a few weeks ago I observed it was heavy with lemons so I decided the time was right to make something I’ve always wanted to make: limóncello. This is my grandmother’s favorite drink and it’s always been in the back of my head, I should learn to make this!

I went online and read all about it and was *shocked* to learn it’s so incredibly easy to make. If you’ve got lemons, you can make limóncello! I read a bunch of recipes, some call for vodka, others recommend Everclear or a grain alcohol with higher proof because of better extraction so I followed that advice.

I’m so happy with how it turned out, it’s delicious and the presentation is so pretty too! This makes a great gift!


To fill the three 375 ml bottles, you’ll need two bottles of 750 ml Everclear (or vodka) which gives you enough for three bottles seen and some leftover for yourself!








For a pretty presentation, I ordered a set of these heavy base glass liquor bottles with glass bottle stops (and cork stops too).

I also made these labels for use on the glass bottles, download them here for free.


For this batch I gathered 20 lemons. Most recipes call for using the peel of 10 lemons to every 750ml bottle of alcohol but I wanted to double it so I used 20 lemons since the tree had plenty. Note if you’re making this and don’t have a lemon tree, be sure to buy the organic lemons to avoid pesticides or wax since you use the peel to make the limóncello.



Peel the lemons and separate the peels to use the zest, scrape off any pith. Set aside the peeled lemons for another purpose (I squeezed fresh lemon juice and froze it for the future.)

Place the lemon zest in a large glass jar, pour the vodka or Everclear over the peels, stir and allow the alcohol to do the work! You can leave it to sit for as little as 4 days, some recipes say it can sit for as long as 3-4 weeks, but 4-7 days is perfectly sufficient amount of time.



After 4-7 days, mix a simple syrup but combining sugar and water in a saucepan and bringing to a boil. (Most simple syrups call for a 1:1 ratio, 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water, however I didn’t want my limóncello to be too sweet, so I made my syrup with a 1:2 ratio with 2 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water.

Once cooled, mix the syrup with the infused alcohol, strain any peels, and bottle the liquid. Freeze or refrigerate the mixture and enjoy on a summer day! Limóncello is lovely to sip on its own but it can also be mixed with sparkling water or used to make other cocktails.

I used my large glass beverage dispenser for this batch, it made it easier to mix in simple syrup and the spout came in handy when filling the glass bottles.

The apothecary style bottles I used have three various tops you can use, black (which looks nice with the border on the label) …..


… but I like the look of the clear glass ball top, it’s fancier!


If you’ve got lemons, give it a go! All you need are the bottles (linked above), the labels, lemons and grain alcohol, it’s really so easy!



One comment

  1. This looks delicious and easy. I can’t do sugar – do you think a sweetener such as Xylitol or Pyure (stevia) would work?

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