Making Limoncello: Step 1

Ian and I are making a new batch of Limoncello and thought you might want to make one too. Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur traditionally made from the zest of Sorrento lemons. It's best served cold and since it's mostly alcohol, it can be stored in the freezer so it's always ready to enjoy.


Limoncello takes from 40 to 80 days to prepare so if you want to have some ready by July, you should start a batch now. Don't let the long time frame fool have fairly little work to do along the way. And what work there is will be well worth it. Served straight from the freezer, limoncello is a light and refreshing treat on a hot summer evening.


Ingredients for Step 1:

-One .75 liter bottle of 100 proof vodka (you will need another bottle for Step 2 so you can buy them both now if you wish)
-14 fresh lemons. Look for lemons with thick, healthy, fragrant skins
-A one gallon glass jar with lid
-Microplane Zester

Pour one bottle of vodka into your freshly washed and dried jar.


After washing and drying all your lemons, zest the skins directly into the vodka. Avoid zesting the white pith as it is bitter and will affect the taste of your limoncello.


Ian and I strongly recommend using a microplane zester. It's super fast and only zests the skin, not the pith. It took Ian about 15 minutes to zest all the lemons. You can certainly use other types of zesters but speaking from experience, it will take much, much longer.


When finished, screw the lid on the jar and swirl all the zest into the vodka. Your zest will take up most of the space in the vodka and will turn it a cloudy yellow. Place the jar in a cool, dark spot for 20 to 40 days. Swirl your jar every few days if you can remember.

Also, you'll have enough lemons to make a few batches of fresh lemonade or lemon sorbet. I highly recommend this ice cream/sorbet maker, in case you don't already have one.

On To Step 2!