Holiday Crafting 2011 – Limoncello

Limoncello reminds me of ski holidays to Livigno in Italy when I was younger. On the mountain the adults would have one with lunch, and they would always be brought out for us all after dinner in restaurants. I know everyone says to serve it ice ice cold, but I am almost certain it would be served warm to us on the mountain side too. 

And I decided last Christmas I wanted to make Limoncello for my friends, but unfortunately I decided this in the middle of December of last year and pretty much every recipe I looked at called for a months steeping, so I pushed the idea to the back of my mind and really did forget about it until this summer. But luckily I did remember in the summer – early enough to get on with it.
The recipe is in two halves. The first that needs to be done at least a month before you intend to drink the liquor and the second can be done as late as the day before you want to drink it. 

Stage 1
You will need;

  • 750ml vodka
  • 10-ish lemons
  • Sharp knife
  • 1 ltr container
Open the vodka and pour it into the larger container. If, like me, you’re doing this in the morning, before breakfast, do not lick your fingers – not nice! 

Wash your lemons. Take the sharp knife and start to peel the lemons. Each recipe I read suggested getting as little of the white pith on the peel, and I did try, but it was uber hard to not get any on so some went in with pith, some without. Apparently the pith makes it bitter-er. 

Place the lemon rinds into the large container with the vodka. Seal and put in a dark place. After a few days you’ll notice that the liquid is taking on a yellow-y tint so you know it’s working. Leave for a month at least {I left mine for 3 because I could, but a month would be fine!} Shake every once in a while just to keep things moving. 

Stage 2
You will need;
  • 750 ml water
  • 700 grams caster sugar
  • A large saucepan or two.
  • bottles to decant in to.
Place the water in your large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the caster sugar. I know it seems like a lot, but you don’t want it to be too tart! Once the sugar has dissolved, take the pan off the heat and let it cool down. I did read that whether your Limoncello comes out cloudy or clear depends on the temperature of the water when you add the vodka – cold and it’ll be clear, warm and it’ll be cloudy!
Strain the lemon vodka in to the sugar water, making sure none of the lemon rind gets in your pan. 

Stir the mixture and then decant for drinking yourself or giving! 

Labels – I printed these labels onto Avery clear labels, with the background grey and the writing in white so that it wouldn’t be printed and would show up clear. 

Check back tomorrow for my vanilla essence instructions. 


  1. Love this recipe and the Vanilla Essence, got both on the go now. Where do you get the lovely bottles from?

    1. Ah, I am sorry – i have no idea where I bought them now and I've just had a bit of a search through my google docs from that christmas and nothing there either. I'll check if I can find a receipt anywhere. I remember they were from the same company and it was UK based.

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