homemade limoncello

styling by Catrine Kelty | photo by Keller + Keller

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur that’s made by infusing vodka with lemon peels and sugar syrup. It’s usually sipped or used to make a variety of cocktails. It can vary in flavor from sweet to tart, based on the amount of sugar syrup you use. This recipe falls somewhere in between, making it enjoyable to sip on its own, mix into a cocktail, or incorporate into a quick and easy dessert.

10 organic lemons, washed and dried
1 750 ml bottle vodka
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel lemons, taking care to remove only outer skin and not white pith (trim away any large pieces of pith with a paring knife). Place peels in a 1-quart jar or pitcher and cover with vodka. Give mixture a stir, cover, and place out of direct sunlight for 2 weeks.
  2. Make sugar syrup. Place water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine 11/2 cups sugar syrup with vodka mixture, stirring to completely incorporate. Taste for sweetness and if too strong, add more sugar syrup to taste. Cover, place out of direct sunlight, and allow to sit at room temperature overnight.
  4. Place a strainer lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth over a large measuring cup and strain vodka. Discard peels. Pour vodka mixture again through a strainer lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and into bottles. Cover, and store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 1 month before using (or freeze for up to 1 year until ready to gift or serve). Serve chilled.

Makes approximately 32 ounces (or 4 cups).