This fragrant Italian liqueur isn't just for cocktails!

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
11 days

If you haven’t heard about limoncello, you’re truly missing out. Originally from Southern Italy (a region well-known for its unique produce of lemons, alongside the Gulf of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and the island of Sicily), limoncello is a sweet and strong liqueur often served as a dessert or digestive drink.

The beauty of it is its versatility—you can pour this liqueur over anything, and you’ll turn a simple dish or drink into a refreshing masterpiece. For the easiest of elegant desserts, drizzle limoncello over lemon sorbet or vanilla ice cream. You can also infused a sponge cake, as you would with a Tres Leches cake, for example, or go the extra mile with a delectable limoncello cheesecake. How about mixing sparkling water and limoncello for a chilled summer spritz? The possibilities are endless!

Keep in mind limoncello can be quite strong, so make sure to adjust the ingredients to your taste and preferably, use fresh, in-season lemons. A bottle of limoncello can be storage in the freezer or fridge for months, so, prepare it ahead and enjoy it every time you’re longing for a sip of La Dolce Vita!

Test Kitchen Tip: Classic Italian limoncello is made with Femminello St. Teresa lemons, also known as Sorrento lemons. As availability is very limited outside of Italy, you can try using Meyer lemons as their peak season for similar results.


  • 10 large lemons

  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle vodka

  • 3 cup sugar

  • 2 ½ cup water

  • Lemons, cut into wedges (optional)


  1. Scrub lemons with a vegetable brush. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully cut enough of the yellow peel away from the white pith to make 2 cups lemon peel. (If desired, juice lemons and reserve for another use.)

  2. In a large glass pitcher or bowl, combine the 2 cups lemon peel and the vodka. Cover tightly and let stand in a cool, dry place for 10 days, gently swirling the mixture in the pitcher each day.

  3. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; discard lemon peel. Return the lemon-infused vodka to the pitcher.

  4. For the syrup component, in a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring just to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool to room temperature.

    limoncello in bottles with cocktail
  5. Pour syrup into the lemon-infused vodka; stir to combine. Cover and chill overnight. Pour limoncello through a funnel into clean bottles; secure lids. Store in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I store limoncello in the freezer?

    Actually, yes! Just as you’d do with Vodka, you can keep your limoncello in the freezer for up to 2 years. The longer it rests in the freezer, the smoother the flavor will be.

  • What flavors can I infuse into limoncello?

    Try infusing your own homemade liquor with herbs,pineapple, orange, or passion fruit as the flavor goes really well with the limoncello. To do so, use pineapple or orange peels or passion fruit pulp when making your base syrup, and finish up with mint leaves when pouring it over ice.

  • My limoncello came out bitter. How can I fix it?

    Try adding a quarter of teaspoon of salt into your limoncello to cut down its bitterness or simply infuse it with naturally-sweet fruits. Keep in mind that you need to absolutely avoid the white part of the peel when creating the syrup, as this will give you even more bitter results.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

72 Calories
11g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 56
Calories 72
% Daily Value *
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Total Sugars 11g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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