Homemade Limoncello

Easy Homemade Limoncello

Yesterday was our last day in Austin, Texas, where it is hot hot HOT, so in saying goodbye to the sizzling weather I’ve dedicated this luscious limoncello recipe to my favorite Southern city. We have had an absolute blast enjoying good friends, music and food, and can’t wait to come back soon.

Homemade Limoncello Recipe

Limoncello is one of my favorite drinks during the holidays and hot summer months. So, before it gets scorching in Southern California and I start craving limoncello’s bright, citrusy sweetness in a champagne cocktail, I peeled a few lemons, plunked the peels into a bottle of good-quality vodka, and made it myself. And, really, that’s all there is to it!

Homemade Limoncello

To start, just grab a full bottle of good-quality vodka and 6 lemons. Peel the lemons, scraping off any bitter white pith as you go, and add them to the vodka. Place the bottle in a dark cabinet, and one week later, combine the lemon-vodka mixture with a homemade sugar syrup.

Then…. presto, chango, alakazam! You have refreshing, citrusy sweet limoncello. Amazing in a champagne cocktail, as an ingredient in homemade ice cream and as I’ll show you soon, limoncello-cream cheese cupcakes with fresh lemon curd!

Homemade Limoncello

Homemade Limoncello

Yield: 1 750-ml bottle


  • 6 lemons
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) 100-proof vodka , I used Svedka
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups water

Also needed:

  • 1 large glass bottle with tight-fitting cap, a bit larger than 750 ml


  1. Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any residue of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry.
  2. Carefully peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is too bitter and would spoil your limoncello.
  3. In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar), add the bottle of vodka; add the lemon peels. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least one week and up to forty days in a cool, dark place. The longer it rests, the better the taste will be. (There is no need to stir - all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello sits, the vodka will slowly take on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon peels.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; cook until thickened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let the syrup cool. Strain and discard peels from limoncello mixture. Add syrup to the limoncello mixture.
  5. Store in a bottle with a tight-fitting cap and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
  6. Cheers!

Did you make this recipe?

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Join the Conversation

  1. Awesome. I LOVE limoncello. It was the first thing I ever got drunk from at the ripe old age of 10. I had it once at an Italian restaurant (I thought they were bringing out ‘lemon JELLO’, LOL) and have been hooked ever since!

  2. I never thought about making my own limoncello. What a fabulous idea! Utah still thinks it’s winter so it may be a while before I need a glass to help me cool off, but I might make some anyway!

  3. Amazing. Limoncello is so tasty. Can’t wait to try!

  4. You know, I’ve never tried limoncello, but it looks right up my alley! I bet it would be really refreshing on a hot, humid summer day here in Oklahoma.

  5. Limoncello makes such delightful cocktails… wonderful :) Hope you had a great time!

  6. I keep seeing homemade limoncello recipes and yours looks so gorgeous, I am clearly going to have to jump on the bandwagon!

  7. I had limoncello for the first time just a few years ago and now I can’t get enough of it. I can’t imagine how good homemade is, thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

  8. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try this!

  9. That looks wonderfully spring-y! :)

  10. I have been thinking to make some limoncello…maybe it’s really time to start a batch.

  11. I love limoncello! I’ve never made my own…need to get on that so I have something tasty for next weekend (it’s in the 90’s already here!!)

  12. Some of the best recipes are the simplest, aren’t they? I’m not a huge limoncello fan, but your pictures are very enticing!

  13. Oh how nice, I can’t wait to try.

  14. Oh my gosh I’ve always wanted to try limoncello and I never knew it was just lemon vodka! Now I can make it and drink it any day (especially with summer coming, hopefully)! Oh, and your photos look amazing too :)

  15. I have never had this…what is wrong with me! LOL. have a super weekend :)

  16. I have a soft spot for limoncello. Yours looks amazing!My mother-in-law brought a couple bottles she made in Italy and yours looks just as delicious:)

  17. I’ve never had limoncello, but from your description I know that I need to remedy that. Warm weather will be here soon- if I make some now, I’ll be ready for it! :)

  18. Lemon is so refreshing. This is the first time I have ever heard of lemoncello. Hope you have a fabulous weekend :)

  19. Love this idea! I’ll definitely be trying it.

  20. I just got home from Austin about 3 weeks ago and miss it already! Beautiful pictures and limoncello. Someday I need to make homemade limoncello.


  21. Georgia, I have heard that homemade limoncello is awesome. So pretty too. I have also heard that Austin is a rockin’ city. Must head that way one day. Glad to read you had such a fun trip! xo

  22. I must make this…I love anything with champagne, and lemony goodness sounds perfect!! Glad you had fun in Austin…once you’re here for good this summer, we should get together for lunch one Saturday!! And it was a bit cooler yesterday: breezy and right around 80.

  23. Can’t wait to try this! Looks so refreshing and lemon anything to drink is my favorite.

  24. How beautiful, the perfect sunshiney drink to welcome spring!
    *kisses* HH

  25. Hi sweet lady…my oh my this sounds good. Even better? Spending time with you this summer in Austin! How exciting! Thank you for sharing your sweet self with me tonight. I always know I can find something delicious and uplifting when I visit. I hope you have a safe and happy Sunday.

  26. Limoncello is definitely the way to go on hot days! ;) More so in sunny Singapore!

  27. I can’t wait to try this myself! I LOVE Limoncello. Makes the best lemon drop martini, too!! Thanks for the inspiration, your blog is gorgeous!!

  28. I wouldn’t mind some hot weather… it’s been cloudy and rainy for far too long here in Oregon.

    I love, love, love limoncello but have never thought to make my own. Great idea Georgia!!!

  29. My mom loves a bit of limoncello at night to help her relax ever since she went to Italy. This would be a perfect Mother’s Day present for her!

  30. I’m seriously wondering how I’ve never had this before! It’s already warm in Phoenix, so I might be a little behind, but I am definitely starting this up today :)

  31. Unfortunately (?) I don’t drink alcohol, but this is such a fantastic idea!

  32. We are preparing for a trip in the north part of Italy so Limoncello, here we come! lovely pics!

  33. I didn’t know that limoncello can be homemade. You know you can use limoncello in tiramisu as an alternative to coffee.

  34. Interesting question, Victor! Personally, I wouldn’t use limoncello in tiramisu because the drink is so sweet, but you can substitute other liquids in tiramisu such as brandy or kahlua.

  35. Limoncello is one of my favorite summertime drinks too! I have never made my own but I will have to give it try. I can’t wait to see the limoncello-cream cheese cupcakes, they sound absolutely wonderful!

  36. You had me at LIMONCELLO.

  37. I love limoncello and have made it myself too but have never thought of using is in a champagne cocktail – Silly me!

  38. This has been on my list of food projects for the longest time. Love limconcello! The homemade stuff rocks!

  39. You don’t have to twist my arm on this one! This looks FAB… a must try :)

  40. 5 stars
    Yum, I love lemon-anything! This is wonderful!

  41. i’ve never had limconcello. it reminds me of vodka citron. i keep it in the freezer and share a shot with a friend we dip a piece of lemon in sugar that we eat after we shoot the citron. is this the same?

  42. Vodka citron is just vodka tinged with a slight lemon flavor. This is much stronger, sweeter and more lemon flavored. I like to mix it with cocktails because it is so strong, but you can also drink it on its own.

  43. I’ve made limoncello in the past (and owe my mom a bottle from Christmas). Do you use 6 large lemons or 6 small lemons?

  44. Medium to large lemons work best.

  45. Thanks for sharing! so happy that i found the cocktails recipe?

    what drinks would you recommend me to make for christmas? besides this one?


  46. Valerie Coyne says:

    5 stars
    I have made this many times….and the last batch I added a splash of vanilla….everyone LOVED it. The con census was they didn’t know why, but it was even better than usual. I now make it by the gallon as have so many requests….with or without vanilla, the claim is it’s head and shoulders above store bought. Don’t know about that, but who am I to argue! Try this…you won’t be sorry.

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