Monday, October 3, 2011


EDIT: Thanks to a friend, I've realized I haven't provided a good description or ideas for usage of Limoncello for those who are new to the beverage.  I've hopefully fixed it!

After a year in Seattle, the sun and I are estranged friends. I've done what I can to combat the winter blues here, and making homemade limoncello is like putting liquid sunshine in a jar. I made this one back in Spring, but I think I might get another batch going again as autumn descends.

I usually don't drink sweet cocktails (unless sharing with others, or it's Eduardo's going away party).  I prefer a hoppy beer or a whiskey on the rocks, but let's get one thing straight.  Limoncello is AMAZING!  Maybe it's because I spent two weeks in Italy for a class, or maybe it's the nostalgic love I have for Lemonheads candy.  I don't know.  The point is, I've made an exception to my sweets rule with this.

Limoncello is versatile and can be incorporated in many different desserts and mixed drinks. I've had this both straight and mixed it with lemonade and sparkling water. It can easily be used in cakes, frostings, and sauces. It also makes a great gift, especially if stored in some novelty glassware or swing-top bottles.

Here are some ideas on how to eat your Limoncello:

...and some ideas on how to drink it.

Recipe from The Gourmet Worrier


  • 750mL 100-proof vodka (cheap brands OK)
  • 10 unwaxed, organic lemons (if you can't find unwaxed & organic, go for organic and a good hot water bath and scrub)
  • 500 g sugar
  • 600 mL water (just boiled) 
Note: I chose to stay in metric weight measurements because of consistency and precision.  If you don't have a scale and prefer to use volumetric measurements, the approximations are 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 20 fl. oz of water, or 2 1/4 cups).

Unwaxed and organic lemons may be hard to come by.  Remember they will be steeping in your liquid, so this is one item you don't want to shortcut.  For those of you in warmer regions, you might even be lucky enough to have fresh citrus.  If you are unsure if your organic lemons are waxed or not, wash the lemons in very hot water and scrub well with a fruit/veg brush.

Zest all 10 lemons, taking as little pith (white stuff) with you as possible. 
Place the zest in a 1 liter jar.  I found the label for this old glass jar to be especially appropriate for the job... 
 Pour 750 mL of vodka over the zest.  Let it soak in a cool, dark place for four weeks.
 On magical day 28, mix 500g white sugar with 600g of hot water.
 Stir until dissolved.
 After the mixture has cooled some, mix the sugar syrup with the vodka and lemon peels.  If your jar is big enough (mine was), you can pour the sugar syrup into the jar and shake.  Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, bottle, and chill.
Best served cold, this can be stored in the freezer without worry of turning solid (hooray science!).   Enjoy!


  1. This looks so cool - can't wait to try it!

  2. This looks awesome!! I didn't realize how easy it was to make this. I had Limoncello when I was at Disneyworld and we were trying to figure out exactly what was in it. Now I know! I'm seriously considering this for Christmas presents! :D

  3. hehehe, a Mountain Sun growler for brewing limoncello; PERFECT!

  4. @Linda and Shannon Let me know how it turns out! :) They make perfect Christmas/birthday presents, especially if you put them in cute swingtop bottles.

    @ducksandbooks, hooray another Boulderite! I'd say the Southern Sun is one of the top five places I miss most...