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Make Limoncello as a Christmas Gift…there’s still time!


There’s still time to make limoncello as a Christmas gift if you so desire. It won’t be the same as the kind that infuses for 3 months, I know, but a reasonable batch can be made with 7 days of infusion time (maybe even less). Sign up for my email list to the right or below and get my free report on making limoncello as a gift.

I added two new commercial limoncello reviews just in time for the holidays and one of them was pretty tasty. I reviewed Ventura Limoncello and Sogno di Sorrento Limoncello.

Lastly, if you want the full scoop on all I’ve learned over the years I just finished my e-book How to Make Limoncello: The Complete Guide.

How to Serve Limoncello the Right Way


How to Serve Limoncello

I’ve been creating, consuming and serving limoncello over a decade, and I’ve even visited Italy to see how the locals serve limoncello (that wasn’t the ONLY reason for my visit, but still). So I can give you a pretty definitive answer on how best to serve and drink limoncello. 

How to Serve Limoncello

Straight and ice-cold, directly into a shot glass is how you serve limoncello. Limoncello served at freezing temperatures is more viscous (syrup-y) than at room temperature. Because it warms quickly, it’s best to serve it in small portions such as a shot glass. Below are some other key tips.

That said, you probably want to appear suave and worldly to you friends, and that’s why you’re searching for this info. No judgment—I like to appear suave and worldly myself. So those guidelines above are the basics, but let’s expand a bit to kick it up a notch and really impress your pals.

Choose the Right Bottle

I’ll be the first to admit that most of my early limoncello experiments were conducted with recycled liquor bottles and swing cap bottles I bought on the cheap. In fact, there’s plenty of photographic evidence of this on the site so I wouldn’t get far denying it. That’s fine for experimentation. But when it comes time to pour for your friends, you want it to be from a proper bottle. 

If you bought your limoncello at the store, you pretty much have this whipped. Most store-bought bottles are fairly attractive and many have the frosted appearance that I prefer. But if you are making your own limoncello at home, you need to seek out some nice bottles of the same sort.

Choose the Right Glass

There are a number of sets of limoncello glasses that are purpose built for impressing your friends with your Italian heritage or just your liqueur-savviness. If you’re deep in the weeds like I am, that’s a perfectly acceptable route to choose.

For most folks, an elegant shot glass will also do the trick. I prefer taller shot glasses that are crystal clear. They look elegant and allow you to appreciate the color of the limoncello, which is one of the factors to appreciate in this liqueur. It’s a lovely yellow color.  

Pour Quickly and Often

Lastly, the pour itself. Take the bottle directly from the freezer to pour, don’t leave it out on the counter. The character of limoncello is heavily affected by its temperature and you need it to be freezing. I like to pour slowly and from a height that appears unsafe. It’s just cooler that way. 

And BOOM, you have served the perfect glass of limoncello. Cheers!


Q: Can you drink limoncello straight?

A: Yes. Drinking it straight (and straight from the freezer) is by far the most common and preferred way to consume limoncello. Limoncello is considered a digestif (after-dinner drink), thought to aid digestion. It is much sweeter and generally lower in alcohol content than hard alcohols like vodka or whiskey.

Q: Can you drink limoncello on the rocks (with ice)?  

A: You can do this—I have done it many times—but there are some caveats. I sometimes drink limoncello on the rocks to keep it ice cold for longer once it exits the freezer. However, it usually binds the ice to the glass and if you wait too long it will of course start to dilute your carefully balanced limoncello. If you must, a better solution is to use whiskey rocks which tend to have neither of those problems.  

Q: Can you serve limoncello in a beer mug?

A: No. That is absolutely forbidden for a number of reasons. I can’t even believe you asked.  

Limoncello Labels: Make Your Homemade Limoncello Look Professional


Limoncello Labels

Aside from choosing a great bottle to contain your limoncello, the most common way that people customize the appearance of their homemade liqueur is by adding a DIY limoncello label. Custom labels are pretty easy to make and they set your limoncello apart visually. I’ve been creating and giving limoncello as a gift for over a decade, so I have some tips on how you can make your limoncello look like a pro made it. 

Where Can I Buy Limoncello Labels?

Limoncello labels are just regular sticker labels that happen to adorn a bottle of limoncello, so finding them online is easy. You can get blank labels on Amazon, but most people will be better served by a custom printer like Evermine that specializes in custom label printing for weddings and other events.

Limoncello labels are often re-purposed wine bottle labels, but that doesn’t fit every use case. People use a variety of bottle sizes for limoncello and often you don’t want to gift a bottle large enough to use a wine label (750ml).  So while labels are pretty straightforward there are a few considerations and pitfalls to avoid.  

We’ll address those factors below and show examples of different limoncello label options, some from Amazon and some from other sources, so you can visualize the different options available to you. If you buy through the links below the vendors love that and I even get a small commission (woohoo!) to continue my limoncello-related shenanigans. 

Image courtesy of Steph Stevens Photo

Should I Use a Blank Label?

People are more savvy with graphic design than they used to be. Not that many years ago you had to be a wizard to make a graphic look halfway decent. With the advent of Canva and other tools that make design way easier, a lot of folks prefer the DIY method. If that’s your bag, then some blank labels might be just the ticket for you. It’s definitely the cheapest path.

Getting the right size label is the main consideration if you’re going to do it yourself. Amazon now has blank labels for wine bottles and for beer bottles, which cover you just fine if you’re giving away full-size (750ml) bottles or half bottles (375ml) of limoncello, respectively. A limoncello bottle label template isn’t really a thing, you’ll have to choose from what’s available.

If you are gifting smaller flasks (100-250ml) or nip-sized bottles (less than 100ml), you’ll probably have to look around at office supply stores to find appropriately sized labels. 

Blank labels have a couple of drawbacks of course. One is that you’ll have fewer shape options in the labels, especially the ones for smaller bottles that will tend to be just square or rectangular. The bigger drawback is getting your printer to line up properly when you go to print them. It’s possible (Ed. - “highly probable”) that I’m a big dummy in this area, but every time I try this it turns into a storm of curse words—sometimes ending in something like that famous printer scene from Office Space. 

Fully Custom Limoncello Bottle Labels

Personally, I’m a sucker for splashing out on the appearance of my limoncello anyway. I like to find cool bottles and pimp them out with super custom labels and other signature touches. If you’re giving away limoncello for your wedding or another big event, I think that’s the way to go. It’s just more fun and shows that you care about your limoncello. Caring about your new spouse is nice and all, but caring about your limoncello is really what’s important in life, right?

If you’re going the full custom route, you’ll need a custom printing service like Evermine. They have labels for just about any purpose and not just the square ones either. There are circles, diamonds, scalloped edges and even hearts for the soon-to-be newlyweds. 

Lemoncello labels from Evermine

Best of all, I don’t have to think up the designs! I’m not good at making things look attractive, even with the help of tools like Canva. I just don’t have an eye for it. I know a good design when I see one, but until then it’s just a bunch of brain fog. So I’m willing to pay more for labels I didn’t have to design myself. The only downside to this is that it costs more than a DIY solution.

Going the Extra Mile

If you really want to take your limoncello to the next level (who wouldn’t?) then you can further adorn the bottle after you’ve applied your sweet custom labels. The ways you can do this are limited only by your imagination. The most common route is to tie something around the neck of the bottle. It doesn’t just have to be a tag, you can use decorative string, small branches, a set of instructions for properly enjoying limoncello, anything really. 

The customization doesn’t have to end there either. If your bottle is clear, you can print a label that is visible through the bottle so that you’re looking at a scene on the other side. You can also put something interesting inside the bottle, in the liqueur itself. Be careful with this as you don’t want anything that will adversely affect the flavor, but inert objects would work and an attractive spiral of lemon zest could be the equivalent of a worm in a bottle of tequila—although way, way less disgusting. Let your imagination run wild—and for crying out loud, send me pics to post on this site!

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