Recipe: Limoncello (Homemade Gift Idea)

How to Make Limoncello

How to Make Limoncello

Limoncello is a delicious, refreshing booze treat that stirs up memories of sun, sea and summery fun. It’s a gorgeous Italian liqueur that tastes wonderful on its own, chilled or mixed up in a cocktail. What’s even better is you can make your own homemade version. Much more fun and a great personal, homemade gift this Christmas.

So, without further ado, here is a sweet little recipe for delicious Limoncello – a sweet, tart aperitif that would make a delightful homemade gift. Or, if you are super greedy like us, for your booze stash on the cocktail trolley.

Make LimoncelloAdd the VodkaSteep Lemon ZestLimoncello

Limoncello (makes approx 2 litres)

  • 9 Lemons, zest only
  • 1 litre vodka
  • 500g sugar
  • 850ml fresh water
  1. Clean and sterilise a large kilner-style jar.  Set aside.
  2. Use a sharp peeler to carefully remove the zest off the lemons in long strips – avoid taking off the white pith if you can as that can make it bitter. We want the zest for it’s lemon-y oil goodness. (don’t waste the lemons though, there are lots you can do with the juice!)
  3. Place the lemon zest in the botton of the sterilised jar and pour the vodka over it.
  4. Seal the jar and give it a good shake.
  5. Store in a cool, dark cupboard for at least 2 weeks (up to 8 weeks) shaking the jar every now and then.
  6. When the vodka is a lovely yellow colour and you can stand it no longer and need a drink… strain the vodka and lemon zest through a clean piece of muslin. Do this twice to get a nice clear liquid.
  7. Pour back into the kilner jar and set aside.
  8. Make up the sugar syrup now. Heat the sugar and water in a small milkpan on a high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring the heat up to a boil and use a sugar thermometer (buy one, they’re so useful!) to ensure a boiling point of 100C for at least 2 minutes. This helps the syrup stabilise.
  9. Remove from the heat and allow to completely cool. (do not cheat or your limoncello will go cloudy).
  10. Once the sugar syrup is cold pour into the jar of lemon-y vodka. Stire well.
  11. Enjoy the limoncello immediately or bottle up as gifts. They can be stored in a cool place.
  12. Serve chilled.


P.S. – I bought my little Kilner bottles from Wilkinsons for a couple of quid or you can get a set of six from Ebay. I think they look fab.

  1. oh my, yum! And the strange thing is I have some beautiful bottles like this which I’ve saved from v expensive olive oil – perfect and I wanted to use them to make some xmas gifts with – thank youooo!

    How are you?


  2. I’m good too! With some art MA friends we’re plotting and planning some new premises in London for an art collective (see @ArtLacuna on twitter) it’s hard work, but you have to love what you do I guess 🙂

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