During my trip to Italy, restaurants would serve a complimentary shot of Limoncello as an aperitif. I love anything with lemons but found the Limoncello to be cloying
sweet. I was driven to come home and attempt my own version with far less sugar.
I looked at several recipes and combined them into what I thought would make a Limoncello more to my likening – Less sweet and lighter – tasting more like a Lemon Drop Martini. I made a couple of batches and tried them out on my friends.
The Limoncello has been met with rave reviews!
The biggest difference is that I put in about half the sugar that is called for in most recipes. Some friends drink it in the traditional fashion – chilled from the freezer, while others have pushed on to new frontiers. One added Limoncello to her Earl Gray tea and another mixed it with tonic. In any event, I hope you enjoy the Limoncello you create. I would love to hear about your results and how you vary the recipe or process.
One Bottle (750 ml) Everclear
One Bottle (750 ml) 100% Vodka – Smirnoff is fine
20 lemons (10 per bottle)
2 cups of sugar (about)
2 cups of water (about)
This is the “to taste part” and it depends on how long the peels are left in during the infusion stage.
Rinse and brush the lemons – clean very well
Peel the lemons – avoiding the bitter pith – I use a vegetable peeler
Combine the peels and alcohol in a large leak proof container with a wide mouth that you can get a ladle in (easier to get the peels out later).
Leaving the peels in the container: You can leave the peels as few as two weeks or as long as four months. After two weeks you will produce a Limoncello on par with what you can buy in the U.S. I like mine with a deeper lemon flavor and leave the peels in about 5 to 6 weeks. Some recipes say to swirl the concoction once a week, others don’t. I swirl every so often.
This is a good time to buy your bottles – go online. You need metal clip top bottles.
It is time to take the peels out of the Limoncello. Use a large slotted spoon to remove the peels. I put them in a large bowl to drain and pour the “drippings” back into the container. Waste not, want not!
Strain the Limoncello – You do this to get rid of the impurities. I use paper coffee filters, a funnel, and a coffee mug, for draining. This part is so sloooowwww. Wet the filter so it does not absorb your precious Limoncello. I change the filter every once in a while, it helps the draining to go a little faster.
MAKE THE SIMPLE SYRUP – 2 cups water to 2 cups sugar. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cool to room temperature.
Combine the Limoncello and the simple syrup in the large container and leave for another week to let the flavors blend.
HERE IS THE BEST PART – Drink your Limoncello and spread the cheer.