How to make Italian limoncello at home

Written by julie vickers
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to make Italian limoncello at home
Serve chilled limoncello liqueur as a refreshing aperitif. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Italian limoncello is a lemon-based, alcoholic liqueur that is served as an aperitif and as a "digestivo," or after dinner drink. Italian limoncello, which provides a base for a variety of cocktail recipes, is particularly refreshing when served diluted with other drinks, such as tonic water or lemonade. You could drizzle limoncello liqueur over desserts, such as ice cream. It is also found as an ingredient in recipes such as lemon polenta cake.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Lemons
  • Knife
  • Wide-necked bottle
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Pan
  • Sieve
  • Spoon
  • Storage bottles

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Remove the zest from 10 lemons.

  2. 2

    Place the lemon zest into a wide-necked bottle. Pour 1 litre of 95 percent alcohol over the lemon zest and then seal the bottle tightly.

  3. 3

    Place the bottle in a dark room for 20 days to enable infusion of lemon flavours.

  4. 4

    Pour 1 litre of water and 1 kilogram of sugar into a large pan. Heat the water and sugar mixture at the lowest heat setting until the sugar has dissolved.

  5. 5

    Remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool. Remove the bottle of lemon-infused alcohol from the storage room. Pour through a fine sieve and into the cooled water and sugar mixture.

  6. 6

    Stir the mixture briskly and then pour immediately into storage bottles to avoid alcohol evaporation. Seal the bottles tightly.

  7. 7

    Place the bottles into a darkened room for a further 20 days.

  8. 8

    Store the bottles of limoncello in a refrigerator until required.

Tips and warnings

  • Chef Mary Cadogan of the BBC Good Food website recommends adding a few strips of lemon zest to each bottle as a decorative effect before sealing the bottles.
  • When peeling the lemons, avoid removal of bitter-tasting pith.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.