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What Is the Price for a Bottle of Limoncello?


Cost of a bottle of limoncello

I have probably tried more types of commercially available limoncello than anyone alive that doesn't work for a limoncello producer. Unfortunately there are no official awards for this type of achievement so patting myself on the back will have to do. The benefit to you is that I can definitely tell you what it costs to buy and to make limoncello.  

How Much Does Limoncello Cost?

A bottle of limoncello purchased at a store will cost about $20 USD. The exact average of 17 different brands was $19.25, ranging from a low of $13.99 to a high of $24.99. Making limoncello at home is cheaper if you don't count labor, and much more expensive if you do. 

The quality of store-bought limoncello is highly variable in my opinion so that same twenty dollar bill can provide you a better or worse experience depending on which brand you choose. It's counter-intuitive because limoncello has few ingredients, but the quality of those ingredients matters a lot. See my reviews for more info on this. 

The Price of Store Bought Limoncello

To get an exact and current figure, I pulled prices for all the brands I've reviewed that are still sold plus 10 more that I plan to review in the near future. This is a snapshot of prices from the web as of 1/19/19, but limoncello prices don't fluctuate much over time. All prices are for a standard 750 ml bottle and all prices are in US dollars.

The overall average price for a bottle of limoncello is $19.25 and most of them cluster right around the $20 mark. Fabrizia and Morey are particularly inexpensive, which pulls the average down a bit from $20. Fabrizia is likely cheaper because it is made in the US, whereas most brands are imported from Italy. Morey is made in Spain, so I'm not sure why it's so cheap.

Limoncello Brand

Price per 750ml Bottle

Sogno Di Sorrento


Ventura County Limoncello














Il Tramonto


Knight Gabriello


Il Pettorano


Villa Massa






Limoncello Di Capri




Vincenzi Limoncello Di Torino


If the appearance of the bottle itself is a factor for you, definitely check out all the different brands. Some have much cooler packaging than others. This isn't really a consideration for me--I only care about quality--but to each his or her own. 

The Cost to Make Your Own Limoncello

If you want to make your own limoncello at home, you are to be highly commended. That's the kind of initiative and self-reliance we see far too little of these days! But seriously, I've got plenty of advice for you on this site. However, the question at hand is about the cost of the DIY method vs. going to the liquor store. 

I've calculated that a bottle of my own DIY limoncello costs about $8.80 to produce. That is lower than any of the prices above, but it's not comparable either. It omits any labor costs, which are substantial. Making limoncello is a labor of love that you pursue because you want it to suit your particular taste, not to save money. It also excludes the cost of the equipment you use. I don't think that's a huge deal because the equipment can be reused for many batches and there's not a lot of it anyway. 

What Should You Do?

It's up to you! I have provided some reviews, and plan to produce many more. This will make it easy to decide when you go to the liquor store. The store I patronize has quite a lot of limoncello variety but that's highly unusual. The average liquor store you see in a strip mall has a very small selection, usually three or fewer varieties. 

At the end of the day, you're drinking limoncello. How bad can it be? Definitely worth one Andrew Jackson if you ask me.


Q: Where can I buy (fill in the blank) brand of limoncello?

A: If you live in a state that allows liquor sales by mail, the world is your oyster. BevMo and other large online retailers can usually get you about anything you want. If you don't live in such a state (like me), then you're limited to what you can get in stores near you. There are huge wine and spirit outlets around like Total Wine & More though, which have large selections as well.

Q: Why are prices near me so different from your prices?  

A: My prices above are internet prices, which tend to be very competitive. I have been to many specialty stores and have seen bottles of limoncello selling for $30 or more. This is because they don't move a lot of bottles in those stores. Limoncello doesn't last forever on a shelf so for a couple reasons, those stores aren't a good place to buy.  

Q: Can you send me a sample of your own limoncello to try?

A: No. Like my limoncello, this site is a labor of love that costs me money every month. I won't be trying to scale that deficit by sending out samples...  

What Is the Alcohol Content of Limoncello?


Alcohol content of limoncello

With over a decade of experience making limoncello at home, I’ve spent a lot of time tinkering with the alcohol percentage (proof) of limoncello. I’ve also reviewed many of the commercial limoncello brands, so this is a pretty easy one to answer.

What Is the Alcohol Content of Limoncello?

The alcohol content of most commercially available brands of limoncello is between 24% to 32% (48-64 proof). Most brands tend to land in the high 20% range, around 27%-29% alcohol by volume.

Longer Answer...

That’s what the major brands do, but the beauty of making your own limoncello is that you can make it your own, and customizing the alcohol percentage is a big part of that. Read on to see what you can do to personalize the flavor of limoncello for your particular palette.

Avoiding Too Much Sweetness

In my experience, the single largest concern that most people have is drinking or making limoncello that is too sweet. Limoncello is sweet by nature, that’s also part of the appeal. But it often has a thicker consistency and can strike people as sickly sweet at the lower range of alcohol content.

For this reason, when people start customizing the alcohol percentage I advise folks to shoot for 30% (60 proof) as a starting point. The standard homemade limoncello recipe that I promote on this site is even higher than that (~37%) and it is a widely beloved recipe…if I do say so myself. I believe the reason for this is that most adult palettes tend to appreciate flavors rather than sweetness alone. Also, people who enjoy cocktails also tend to appreciate bitterness as a flavor component.

What Is YOUR Use Case?

Sipping an ice-cold glass of limoncello straight from the freezer—though completely awesome—is only one use case for limoncello. You can cook with it, make desserts, make cocktails, etc. For some other use cases it might make sense to use a sweeter limoncello because the sugar will survive any cooking while most of the alcohol will evaporate.

However, that ice-cold freezer shot is by far the most common case, so how can we alter it to be exactly what you want? You need to conduct an experiment that will require making some limoncello at home. Different brands of limoncello that you buy at the store will have different characteristics—sometimes remarkably so. That means you can’t just buy 2 different brands with different alcohol levels and see which one you prefer. I mean, you CAN do that, but that’s not a clean test at all.

What you’d need to do is create a batch of limoncello at home, split the infusion into 2 half batches, and then add different amounts of simple syrup to achieve different alcohol percentages in the final limoncello product.

How Do I Do That?

That’s an excellent question, I’m glad you asked! Because I get this question frequently I’ve created a couple of calculators on the site to help you determine the proportions of limoncello required to achieve a specified alcohol content. There is a simple version that is just a dilution calculator, then a more sophisticated one that helps you dial in the sweetness by altering the simple syrup. You can find them both here.


Q: I made a batch that has way too much alcohol in it, can I dilute it after the fact?
A: Sure, just add more simple syrup of the same proportions you originally used. This will make it sweeter of course, but a sweeter and milder product is what you’re shooting for in this case.

Q: I made a batch that is way too sweet, can I fix it?
A: You can use the more sophisticated calculator on my site to attempt to further dilute it, but in my experience this rarely ends well. It’s harder to dilute the sugar after the fact without making it insipid.

Q: Does the type of alcohol you use matter?
A: It doesn’t matter to the alcohol content beyond it’s proof, but it matters to the flavor in my opinion. I prefer to use grain alcohol that has been filtered as opposed to vodka and other liquors that carry more of their own flavor.

Is the Lemon Peel Infusion Finished?


This is a common question I get over email so I wanted to write a post that covers the issue. I'll add it to my email series as well. It's an important question because it can save you a lot of time in the process depending on how strong the liquor is that you're using. 

Lemon zest in alcohol

Stronger (higher proof) liquors will do a faster, more efficient job of pulling the lemon oils out of the zest. Therefore you can shorten the infusion times if you develop an eye for when your zest has fully given up the ghost.

This is easier to see if you have zest at several stages of infusion, but I wanted to give you a benchmark for what zest looks like when it is finished. Below is an image of the finished zest in the alcohol. It's a bit harder to see that it is as pale as it is when it's in the infused liquor because the yellow color is now in the liquor itself. ​

Here's what it looks like out of the infusion. As you can see, it's very pale in color, almost a sickly grayish tint. The shade varies a bit, sometimes it's more whitish, but you're just looking for the distinct lack of the vibrant yellow color that the zest had to begin with.

Lemon zest

Below is the real close-up and you can tell here that the zest is pale and translucent. There's still a small amount of yellow left but this zest has given up every bit of lemon oil that it has to give.

Lemon zest after infusion

And now you know! If your zest is pale and translucent, it doesn't matter if it's been sitting there for 30 days or for 45 days. You can stick a fork in it, 'cuz it's done. 

How Long Can You Keep Limoncello Before It Goes Bad?


I've gotten a lot of questions from readers over the years and by far, the single largest category has to do with the math of creating a batch of limoncello with the proper proportions of ingredients. However, another big question--perhaps #2 although a distant second--concerns how long you can keep a bottle of limoncello around. I'll start with the short answer. 

Can Limoncello Go Bad or Expire?

You should generally try to consume limoncello within 2 years of creating or opening it. Limoncello only contains 4 ingredients, 2 of which are preservatives. So, it will never “go bad” like milk would but it does lose its lemon scent and flavor over time.

The Longer Answer

Quite accidentally, I am able to give a pretty solid answer to this question from experience. A while back I moved to a new house and I happened to belatedly unpack a box, finding a partial bottle of one of my old batches.

Remnants of Batch #4

As you can see in the photos, it is from batch #4, a batch that I reviewed on the site so I know it's about five and a half years old at the time of tasting. It hasn't been well cared for either, it was sitting in my basement at both houses. So I said "what the heck," I'll take this opportunity to see if this stuff holds up.

Batch 4 Remnants cont.

The verdict? This particular example held up very well! My main problem with this batch was a roughness in the flavor and all that time resting really subdued the alcohol. The limoncello was still flavorful and it is now pretty smooth as well. So, my final opinion used to be that you can rest limoncello as long as you like. 

However, I've visited with some folks who keep a much more detailed history of their limoncello-making than I do (I know...strange but true) and there is a downside to resting limoncello TOO long. While it's still ok to drink, as in "not repulsive," it does become insipid after about 2 years on the shelf. It loses a lot of the lemon-y flavor it once had. That just leaves you with simple syrup and high-octane liquor. 

Whether the limoncello is opened or unopened (mine above was opened) doesn't really matter. It also doesn't matter whether the limoncello is commercial or homemade because alcohol is an excellent preservative. Keeping it in the freezer the whole time, while a waste of freezer space, probably does slow the decline of the flavor as colder temperatures tend to do in most cases. 

So if you leave a bottle on the shelf too long, do what I do and give it a taste. If it's still good, awesome! If it has lost it's vigor, use it in a cocktail. But whatever you do, don't let it go to waste!