LimoncelloQuest Makes its First Acquisition - LimoncelloQuest

LimoncelloQuest Makes its First Acquisition


I’ve gotten numerous questions on exactly how much zest I use in a typical batch of Limoncello. I’ve also had some very insightful comments regarding how I measure my ingredients. Apparently one “cup” of water isn’t the same amount in the U.S. as in other countries. Being American, this hadn’t really occurred to me but it’s a good point.

So my first LimoncelloQuest acquisition was a food scale! Yes, very exciting. The first thing I did with this scale was measure the amount of zest I use in a typical batch. I just started a new batch with 12 organic lemons. I zested them with the microplane grater yesterday and weighed the resulting zest. The zest weighed in at 46 grams. The lemons were a little on the small side so I bet I often use more like 50 grams but that should give you a good idea of what I typically use to make a batch.

I should also mention that a “batch” for me these days is half of what is described in my standard recipe, using one 750ml bottle of Everclear rather than two bottles. This is primarily to conserve Everclear and get more tests in. Still, this 12 lemon batch I just started contains significantly more zest than I used to use in the past. I may update my standard recipe because I just prefer a LOT of lemon flavor these days.

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(8) comments

Tony March 27, 2009

Hello, I made my first batch months ago and let me tell you it was a hit, me and my girlfriend somehow finished a bottle in the woods and got lost…. thats another story but, It was great except I threw in 1 madagascar vanilla bean for a nice finish. I found out that the lemon taste wasn’t enough for my liking so I’m doing a 25 lemon per 1 bottle of 76% grain alcohol with 1 bean. Im making an enormous batch (8 bottles finished product) of lemon vanilla cello. I’m lucky enough to be cousins with a chef who has access to the restaurant depot and scored me 96 lemons for 17 dollars.

John April 8, 2009

Okay, I have a question…I started my batch before I came across your site, so i made the mistake of using 190 grain alcohol. At this point, my batch has:

20 organic lemons, scrubbed and peeled with a potato peeler (leaving off as much white pith as possible)

2 – 750ml bottles of 190 grain alcohol

I had planned to leave it for 40 days, add the sugar syrup, and another 40 days, then bottle, and a couple weeks in the bottle before serving.

It has been steeping for 2 days. Amazingly, after only a couple hours, it already had an extremely yellow color, most likely because the strength of the alcohol pulled it out so fast. Is the strength of the alcohol going to allow me to speed up the process? Or should I allow it to sit even longer because of this?

I would like to give a bottle of my homemade Limoncello as a wedding present in mid-June, so I was already cutting it close, but I probably wont be able to start a new batch. Thoughts?

John April 8, 2009

Also, have you experimented with the difference in flavor when you use a peeler on the lemon skin compared to actually zesting the lemon? I would think you would retain more of the juices and oils in the larger pieces of skin that are achieved through the peeling…

Neil April 22, 2009

What a great site. I am making my first batch with 1.75l 190 Everclear. I have always used vodka. My wife likes the alcohol on the low side. What would you recomend for the simple syrup to get it down to around 35%



Natrous May 15, 2009


I would think it would be much harder to get peel with no pith if you used a peeler, but that’s just me. I don’t feel like I lost anything using the microplane, although my hands were begining to cramp by the 16th lemon…

Also, I made my batch with 160pf vodka, which is nearly as strong as your grain alcohol. If I could have gotten a hold of 190 everclear, I would have used it. My batch came out real nice, if I do say so myself. It’s strong, but mellow.

rgbiii June 17, 2009

Thanks for the site! I made my first batch in march, with Everclear 151 and meyer lemons- it was fantastic! I just started a half-batch with grapefruit tonight.

Flounder August 13, 2009

Cool site. Good work.

I’ve made 4 batches, and here’s a big timesaver for both ends of the process. Peel the lemons. Don’t zest, peel. Use a veggie peeler. How does it save time?
1) My experience is peeling is far faster then zesting.
2) Any pith on the peels is easily sliced off, unlike zesting where you have to go slow to make sure you’re not zesting pith.
3) Filtering is a snap, because you’re not filtering, but straining the peel out.

Is there any difference in taste, color, aroma etcetera? No. No noticable difference. Why? I think because the peels sit so long in the Everclear the difference in surface area between the zested and peeled batches is insignificant.

Again, awesome site. I love the graphing!

Bernard D Ussher January 28, 2021

We use Meyer lemons from our grden here in South Louisiana. Typically the zest yield is about 1 to 2 gms per lemon. We are planning on upping our amount of zest to at least 50 gms per 750ml of Everclear.

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