Batch #14 - Limoncello with Distilled Water - LimoncelloQuest

Batch #14 – Limoncello with Distilled Water


I changed a few things on this batch but only one that I think makes a big difference. In this batch I used distilled water instead of tap water. We have a WaterWise distiller that I used for this experiment but you can get cheap distilled water at any grocery store. And I recommend doing that because this is a VERY good batch.

The aroma is very clean and crisp. The flavor is also very clean and lemony. I noticed some film on the inside of the bottle but much less than in other batches. This is perhaps the purest tasting batch I’ve ever made. There are no detectable off flavors and it’s a batch I imagine the Italians would love. It needs some time to sit, there’s a heavy dose of heat on the finish but this could prove to be my best batch ever. Two other minor changes to help with the film buildup were washing the lemons with Environne fruit wash before zesting and in the final filtration I added an extra filtering.

Liquor: One bottle of 151 Proof Everclear

Liquor filtration: 5x

Lemons: 12 organic lemons scrubbed with Environne fruit wash

Days peels and liquor rested: 84

Simple Syrup – Cups Sugar: 1.75, Cups Water: 2.5

Final filtration: 5x

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(21) comments

gae204 June 9, 2009

I noticed you only used 12 lemons this batch with 1 bottle of alcohol. Would you still recommend using 17 lemons with two bottles of everclear as per your recipe or would you now up that to 24 lemons?

Also, after you added the simple syrup to the liquor/peel did you let it rest as well for any amount of time or did you test it immediately?

AndroidClone June 12, 2009

I’ll have to try this out on my next batch. On another note I stumbled by mistake upon a very very tasty recipe after I tired out of peeling a hundred lemons. The recipe calls for 60 lemons, 1 bottle of spyritus 75%abv (filtered 5x) 2 cups 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, 4 Madagascar vanilla beans. prepare it as normal, leave in the vanilla untill you are ready to combine the simple syrup which for me was after 3-4 months. filter 3x and enjoy a very smooth, excellent taste of lemon peel with the right balance of sugar and vanilla I have ever tasted. this makes 2 bottles

MoonBloggy July 9, 2009

Hey Ben… I totally just created a username and password to comment on your blog. That’s just how special you are… j/k ANyway, I saw the comment you left on my blog over at blogspot and was just going to say that I have made a whopping total of 2 batches now and have not had any type of film develop on the top of my Limoncello. I like your blog and it’s given me some good ideas about the next batch I will make. I can tell you really like Limoncello. Talk to you later!!! ps. I love using cheesecloth to strain. It’s awesome.

Ben July 19, 2009

Sorry about the registration, I had the wrong spam filter installed on my blog and was getting inundated with comment spam. Fixed now. I appreciate the patronage though!

Limoncello Rookie August 3, 2009

I’ve just started my first batch of Limoncello today. I used two bottles of 151 Everclear. I just came across your post for batch #5. I didn’t filter my alcohol!! What can I do to salvage my batch? I suspect it’s too late to filter after one day of infusion. huh? What can I add or do to mellow it out after the infusion? You have a wonderful website, I just wish I had found it sooner!

Ben August 10, 2009

Hey there, I would just go ahead and finish the batch and enjoy it. Once you’ve started infusion you can’t really filter the liquor but it just smooths out the flavor. It will still be drinkable anyway. Just try to filter it next time and compare the batches to see what you like.

tul9033 August 14, 2009

Did a bit of research and found that it is illegal to sell the 190-proof variety of Everclear in some states of the United States, namely California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Where as the 151-proof variety

is available in California, Minnesota, Ohio, and some other states.

In my state Oklahoma, we have the 190 proof but can’t find the 151 proof anywhere. Seems if you can get the 190 proof no stores want to carry the 151 Everclear, Bacardi 151 is abundtantly available though.

Natrous August 21, 2009

tul9033 –

Yeah, in NY it’s a drag about the 190pf ban.
I use 160pf vodka (Devil Springs, and man it’s harsh by itself right out of the bottle!)

I filtered it 4x through the Brita and gave some of the batch to an Italian coworker, who gave it to his _really_ Italian mother, who said it was the best limoncello she’d ever had. (I’ve seen pictures of this family’s Christmas dinner – enough food to feed a wedding for 100 people, easy. The point is, they know their food and they know their drink)

High praise, but I only take perhaps 5% of the credit (for doing the grunt work), but really it’s from following Ben’s recipe. Follow the technique and you can’t lose!

Natrous August 21, 2009

Ben –

It’s been awhile since I’ve combed through every entry on here, but did you ever try spring water instead of tap water (real spring water, not tap water that someone else bottled…)?

The reason I ask is because whenever I’ve heard of the great Scotch and Bourbon makers, they always talk about the quality of the spring or brook water that they use, that good spring water has a balance of minerals/gasses in it, etc. It seems like if distilled water was better, they’d talk about that (and maybe they do, I juut haven’t heard of it).

I realize Limoncello is not whiskey, but I was curious just the same if you’d tried that.

joe January 21, 2010

My first attempt to make it. I curious, others sites have said to put the Limoncello in the freezer when done, but I don’t see that in this recipe?

Ben January 21, 2010

Yes, absolutely. Limoncello is most enjoyable straight out of the freezer.

Courtney April 28, 2010

I recently visited Sonoma, California and was pleasantly surprised to find a 100% Organic Limoncello being produced in Sonoma! Limoncello di Sonoma They sell it around the Sonoma area or can be shipped to you.

opossum May 11, 2010


I’m preparing to make my first batch of lemoncello, however when you mention filtering with the Brita pitcher are you actually running the vodka through the pitcher with the Brita filter as you would water or are you filling the hole where the normal filter goes with cheesecloth or a coffee filter?

You also mention you need the patience of Job to use 190 proof. Does it need to sit longer to mellow, because I have 190.

Thank you

Ben May 13, 2010

I filter it through the Brita just as I would water. With the 190, my calculations were off back then as others have noted, so the important thing is the ratio of simple syrup to alcohol. If you get that right then there’s no need to worry about the overpowering strength or the long wait.

opossum May 16, 2010


Thanks for the response. However, it has generated more questions.

I see in all of your test batches you use 151 & you using between 12 & 20 or so lemons per batch.

Do you have an approximate gram of zest per 750 ml bottle you shoot for & does this change for you when using a higher proof?

You mentioned your calculations were off back when you were using 190, however in looking back over your 15 tests batches I can’t see where you ever used 190. So I am unable to get an idea on the simple sugar. Do you still suggest using the same ratio for making the simple sugar (sugar vs water) & using the same amount of simple sugar when using 190?

Sorry for all the questions, I’m coming from a baking background & it is more science than guess work.


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TOM November 6, 2018

By the way, Ben, the Simple Syrup – Cups Sugar: 1.75, Cups Water: 2.5 ratio is perfect – it is exactly what I use and the comments by drinkers prove it to be just right. I use 1100 ml of simple syrup to 750 ml of Everclear 190 filtered 4 times. Infusing time is a minimum of 14 days, and as long as 28 days.

Will April 12, 2021

Hi I’m in the extraction phase using 195 proof Everclear. I actually found this because I was thinking of using distilled water and I’m glad I did my question is what method do you use to filter 5x? Should I just be filtering the Everclear extract or am I filtering it after the sugar and distilled water added? Thanks!

Ben April 15, 2021

Just the Everclear, the water and sugar will be clean.

William April 19, 2021

Thanks Ben, I didn’t filter the 195 everclear before I did the extraction, (wish I found your site before I did) is it to late to filter before I sweeten? Do you use a Brit filter or will coffee filters suffice?

William April 24, 2021

Would it be ok to store them in bottles after final filtration instead of transferring back to original container and then to bottle after resting?

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