Limoncello Liqueur

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Easy! A delicious cold after dinner liqueur.


  • 750 ml. bottle of grain alcohol
  • 7 or 8 large lemons (make sure they're organic and not sprayed, you're using the peel)
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  • 5 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar


Wash the lemons thoroughly and scrub them clean of all residue. Using a peeler, take off the skins being careful not to get any of the white lemon "pith" onto your peelings or it will add bitterness to your limoncello. Put the peels into a large, open-mouth jar with the alcohol and seal the lid tightly.

Put the date on the bottle. Put the jar in a cool, dry place for one week. Once a day, shake the contents well to remix everything. You'll notice the color of the liquid changing to yellow and the color of the lemon peels fading.

One week later, dissolve the sugar completely in water by heating it on the stove. Then cool the sugar-water mixture to room temperature. Strain the lemon peels out of the alcohol and then mix the alcohol with the sugar-water. Usually the color of the alcohol changes from clear yellow to cloudy yellow when it's combined with the sugar-water. Pour the mixture into bottles which can be sealed tightly and store them in the freezer. If the limoncello is kept "frozen" until serving, it becomes thick and syrupy.

By RULLA8 from Creta, Greece

September 29, 20100 found this helpful

How intriguing! I am going to give this a try because I LOVE lemons! Thank you.

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September 30, 20100 found this helpful

I'm assuming the grain alcohol is vodka?

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Anonymous Flag
September 30, 20100 found this helpful

Yassou and what a lovely treat! My Papa was from Greece and I have several of his recipes where this would be a wonderful end to the meal! Thank you so much for sharing! Thumbs up!

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September 30, 20100 found this helpful

Loved this on vacation, now I can make my own! Thanks for a great recipe.

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September 30, 20100 found this helpful

I have used Vodka in making my liquor before, but do you recommend a certain brand name that makes this liquor more tasty than any other?

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September 30, 20100 found this helpful

I think by "grain alcohol" we're talking Everclear. Anyone else have any thoughts on that?

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September 30, 20100 found this helpful

I believe you could use any neutrally flavored alcohol, vodka comes to mind. I think that Everclear is the most common type readily available in the states, but you might ask your liquor store clerk. I think there might be a 151 proof (or even lower) version, as I think Everclear is 190. Compared with vodka, that is quite an increase in the alcohol content.

Since this recipe appear to be traditional to the Mediterranean, vodka is probably going to give it a different flavor than grain alcohol. That said, vodka doesn't have much flavor and is commonly substituted, from what I have seen on the internet.

I'm tempted to try it myself. I made currant vodka with some currants from the farmers market, and it was extremely easy and delicious!

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October 30, 20100 found this helpful

Wikipedia says these brands are grain alcohols available in the US: Everclear, Golden Grain Alcohol & Gem Clear. Don't know if you can find it in all states or not.

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July 16, 20120 found this helpful

I have made limoncello a few times now. It is very important to allow it to infuse with the zest for 2 month and after you add the syrup for another 2 months. It is not a quick process, but well worth the ageing time to mellow it. I have made it both with the everclear and with the vodka (100 proof and 80 proof) The everclear gives it a more pure taste. Also, it is important to use distilled water. Use a microplane for zesting. Filter it several times through a paper filter when you are ready for the finished product.

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August 1, 20120 found this helpful

You can use Sleevo as your grain alcohol.

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