This Homemade Limoncello recipe is the perfect recipe to have on hand for making cocktails, desserts, and even giving as gifts all season long!
Sometimes we all want a good drink. This limoncello is the perfect homemade drink to have on hand. I love to use all the fresh citrus in winter to make a batch to have on hand when the weather starts to warm up. There is a good chance you'll see some floating around all the BBQs at our house when summer rolls around.
What is Limoncello?
Limoncello is a very popular liquor in Italy. Often it is used as a palate cleanser between courses at meals. This simple lemon drink gets its name from lemons that grow in Amalfi, Sorrento, and Capri's regions.
How is Limoncello Made?
You're probably thinking to yourself that this is alcohol we are talking about. It has to be hard to make and requires a distillation process? No, not really. While this recipe does take a little time and patience to make, it is not hard to do at all.
Making limoncello at home, you can control not only the alcohol (type and strength), but you can also control the sweetness since sometimes limoncello can be sweet and not in the right way. Traditionally limoncello is made with Everclear, which, as you know, is a grain alcohol. So we are going to do things a little differently. I promise, though, the results will still yield a beautifully sweet yet tangy drink that will be like spring and summer in your mouth.
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My vodka of choice for this recipe is Ciroc Vodka. This vodka is made exclusively of grapes from France, making it a great choice as a grain-free alcohol. If you chose to use another type, you would want to make sure it is a grain-free variety vodka to ensure the result is still grain-free.
Making limoncello is simple.
- Take the zests of the lemons and then put them into your vodka of choice.
- Let them infuse for a while. I like to let mine sit for at least four weeks before straining the mixture and adding the sweetener.
This is why I say this recipe is simple but takes some patience.
Once the lemons have infused the vodka, add a simple syrup to the mixture to turn the sour mix that it has become into a slightly sweet and tangy drink to enjoy,
Do the types of lemons used make a difference in making limoncello?
Technically no, they don't. If I lived in Italy, that answer would probably be different, but sadly I don't. I prefer to make mine with Meyer lemons, but any good lemon will do. Just make sure that you use unwaxed lemons if possible or wash to remove the wax before zesting the fruits.
Note: When zesting the lemons for making limoncello make sure that you do not zest deep. You want to aim for the yellow part of the flesh of the peel and not the white. The white part of the lemon will put a bitter taste into the overall finished product. The more the yellow zest you put into your vodka, the better the result.
Now that you know how limoncello is made, give this recipe a try now so you can have it ready for those Mother's Day brunches and BBQs coming up in a few weeks. I promise you and your guests will thank me later!
More Lemon Recipes:
- 12 Whole Lemons Organic is best.
- 1 Liter Vodka Plain, unflavored. I use Ciroc original.
- 1-2 C Sugar
- 1-2 C Water
- Wash the lemons, ensuring to remove any wax that is on the peels.
- Carefully zest the lemons, ensuring to avoid the white flesh of the fruits as much as possible.
- Add the lemon zest and the vodka to a glass jar of your choice with a lid. I like to use a large mason jar like these to make this recipe.
- Allow the mixture to sit in a cold, dark place for at least four weeks. The flavor intensifies the longer it sits, so you do not want to strain this sooner than four weeks, six weeks is best.
- Once you have let the mixture sit for the time, strain the liquids away from the lemon zest, set aside.
- Make the simple syrup. Add equal parts water and sugar to a pot and bring to a gentle boil for about five minutes, until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow it to completely cool before adding it to the infused vodka.
- Once you have added the simple syrup to your infused vodka, you have made limoncello! Congratulations, not put your treat into a pretty bottle of your choice (with a sealed lid). You can drink this treat plain or add it to your favorite cocktail recipes. You can even give iit away as gifts! You and your guests will be delighted!