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How to Make Limoncello

Betty Crocker Cook - Andi Bidwell
Senior Food Editor, Betty Crocker Kitchens
Limoncello is a popular lemon-flavored after-dinner liqueur in southern Italy. You can find it in all shapes and sizes of bottles in stores along the Amalfi Coast. HomemadeLimoncello_1
However, it can be a challenge to find limoncello in liquor stores in the U.S. and so I decided to make some myself since "Doing It Yourself " is fun and saves money too. Here is my version of limoncello. HomemadeLimoncello_2


If you start making it now, you will have some ready to give as Christmas gifts.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Start to Finish: 12 days

8 lemons
1 bottle (750 ml) vodka
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar

Wash lemons; pat dry. Using a vegetable peeler, cut peel from lemons, avoiding white pith. Scrape away any bitter white pith from peel with a paring knife.


In 2-quart pitcher, combine lemon peel and vodka. Cover; let stand at room temperature for at least 5 days and up to 1 month.

Strain liquid into medium saucepan. Add water and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.

Using a funnel, pour vodka mixture into bottles; seal tightly. Refrigerate for a week before serving.

5 cups (40 oz)


Serve limoncello chilled, in small liquor glasses.

A bottle of limoncello makes a nice Christmas gift for anyone who enjoys Italian food. By itself, it's a quick sweet treat, after a meal.

Drizzle a little limoncello over fresh berries for fresh, light dessert.

Use limoncello can be used in place of lemon juice in small amounts because it imparts lots of lemon flavor without the bitterness.

I shot this "lemony" photo in the small, coastal town of Amalfi in Italy. Notice the baskets of lemons, the guy with the apron with lemons on it and the yellow chairs. You can buy bottles of limoncello in a store, just around the corner from here.


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