Learn to make this Italian dessert liqueur specialty from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Limoncello is a tart and sweet liquor that originates in the southern coastal and island regions of Italy. First, a quick note on pronunciation: vowels take on the long-vowel sound in Italian, so it’s LEE-mone-cello. Limon- rhymes with the name Simone, and -cello is pronounced just like the string instrument. It’s not “lemon” cello. The correct pronunciation makes it taste all the better.
Depending on taste, you can adjust the amount of lemon peel and sugar to find the right balance of tartness and sweetness.
Although limoncello can be found readily in liquor stores, there is something special about having your own to share with friends and family.
- 8 ounces lemon peel (approximately 10-12 lemons)
- 1.5 lbs of sugar*
- 1 liter pure grain alcohol, such as Everclear 95% (190 proof)
- 1 liter water
- Scrub your lemons, and then use a vegetable peeler to remove the yellow rind, avoiding the bitter white pith beneath.
- Place the lemon peel and the alcohol in a container with a lid, and let it sit for 10-15 days.
- Upon return, strain the lemon peel from the alcohol mixture.
- Place the water into a pot, add the sugar, and bring to a low boil. Boil for approximately 5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
- Let cool, and add the sugar water to the lemon infused alcohol.
- Seal it again with a lid, place it in the freezer and let sit for 2 weeks (it will not freeze due to the alcohol content), after which time the limoncello will be ready.
- Store in air-tight bottles in the freezer and serve chilled in small liquor glasses.
- You can use up to 2.2 lbs of sugar for a sweeter drink.