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[…] area around Naples, she says, and is one of the best for making sauces in the world. She praises Limoncello, Campania’s famous lemon flavored liquor. Campania is known for its cheeses as well: mozzarella […]Reply
[…] exercise in mindfulness. Before we found the YouTube video, we looked for other recipes. We found this amazing site that has probably the most anal set of instructions possible. For instance, Alton talks about extracting the essence of the lemon for 7 days. This site […]Reply
[…] you are handed lemons make lemonciello, (or lemonade).€ “Don’t lose hope and strive to be an independent […]Reply
[…] Lemon Limoncello Cupcakes (but I can’t wait 45 days for the homemade limoncello to […]Reply
[…] 25 lb. case coming up! Me: [to self] 25 lbs!?! Home from the market searching recipes lead me to this one. This guy spares no detail and has obviously made a lot of limoncello (he has a spreadsheet listing […]Reply
[…] I would like to try making this if I can think of a cool dry place to let it ferment. (Limoncello 1, Limoncello […]Reply
[…] that this is where I found the recipe that takes a quarter of a year to make in a post called How to Make Limoncello. Interestingly enough, in nosing around the site, I found a post in which they compared skinny […]Reply
[…] For Italians, start with wedding soup, end with a Limoncello toast […]Reply
[…] If you want to make homemade limoncello, you can certainly do so, but plan ahead! Homemade recipes require 7 to 10 days of the lemon steeping in vodka before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. If you want to give it a go, you can find recipes here and here. […]Reply
[…] the most part, I followed this recipe from limoncelloquest.com, so I won’t re-invent the wheel here. The main difference is that I used long slices of lemon […]Reply
[…] was to make 2 batches of Limoncello–one that used the 12-week method suggested over at Limoncello Quest and the other than used the quickie method that every other recipe on the Internet seemed to use. I […]Reply
[…] at the party by bringing a house made or infused specialty drink as a hostess gift. We made our own limoncello (an Italian liqueur made from lemons) this year, and it was a huge hit. But you could also try […]Reply
[…] that has that kooky waiter and larger-than-life proprietor who always offers you a complimentary limoncello at the end of your […]Reply
[…] This site delivers a thorough and easy to follow recipe explaining each step in detail. Believe me it’ll turn out great. The name of the site is Limoncello Quest so they’ve done their research. […]Reply
[…] the food is ready, fresh and plentiful for noon. Where mother-in-laws of others proffer home-made limoncello when you stop in to say hello, and daughters of cousins pop by with chocolate molten baby cakes, […]Reply
[…] cup mashed or chopped slightly frozen berries Optional: a splash of limoncello (or […]Reply
[…] and lemon custard. The first two were easy to assemble: 1 liqueur glass with limoncello (which you make yourself if you have lemons or limes in your garden). For the lemon custard you use a tiny bowl; add about 5 […]Reply
[…] Definitely check out his web site in depth, as well as instructions for how to make limoncello. […]Reply
[…] the bug and began trying to make my own infused liquors that I could gift to friends. Thanks to LimoncelloQuest, within two months we had enough limoncello to last us at least a couple years (assuming we drank […]Reply
[…] How to Make Limoncello – LimoncelloQuest – This is basically a long-form of the Limoncello recipe that omits no details or explanations. If you plan to make Limoncello at home and have never tried it before … […]Reply
[…] the bug and began trying to make my own infused liquors that I could gift to friends. Thanks to LimoncelloQuest, within two months we had enough limoncello to last us at least a couple years (assuming we drank […]Reply
I have made your recipe for limoncello for several years now, only at Christmas, and give away bottles as gifts. (Would love to post a picture…) Our friends and family just love it and bring back their empties for a refill at Christmas. I’m considering making a summer batch. LOL Thank you for your detailed instructions!Reply
I’ve used the InstantPot electric pressure cooker for nearly 4 years, long before it was a “thing.”
Took me until my last batch of limoncello to use it to make simple syrup; we used it to make hummingbird juice this summer and, dug, it finally hit me: it’s the same thing as simple syrup basically.
Even though I use 50/50 honey and white sugar (sometimes honey and stevia for a “skinny” version), this absolutely works. It’ll work with just water and white sugar too. You’ll never stand and stir at your stove to make a simple syrup again.
Add ingredients to InstantPot. Set to 3 minutes at high pressure. Cool the mixture somewhat before blending with your steeped ingredients. Continue making your limoncello. .
Nice to hear from you and the new site looks amazing!
I’ve used your recipe for the past 6+ years——yes, winters last a long time in Vermont and I need those projects. Limoncello is basically summer in a bottle!
I wanted to share a few things I’ve tried.
First, I weight my zest. That’s helped a lot with flavor quality. I use 3 half-gallon bottles for my batch of 2 750ml bottles of 100 proof vodka. I can’t get grain alcohol in Vermont.
I make sure each of the half gallon bottles has at least 50 grams of zest in it. I keep a log of all this so I can compare last year’s batch, etc. I’m using a lot more lemons than your recipe calls for—usually around 28, depending on size.
Next, I let the zest marinate for much longer. I’ve left it as long as 90 days before filtering. I read your comments on checking the paleness of the zest and will keep that in mind. But I also leave the batch for another 60-90 days after adding the simple sugar. I’ve found that leaving it longer makes it really smooth.
I’ve made “cello” with limes——the best ever!!! But definitely a pain to microplane. I’ve also used several varieties of oranges: Page oranges are the best. Tangerines are also good, depending on how vibrant the flavor. I think grapefruit would also be amazing but I haven’t tried that yet. I’ve also used Meyer lemons and that’s wonderful but expensive.
I still have the tail end of past years in the fridge or freezer and they’re perfectly good, just as you note. I do notice a positive flavor difference once I started weighing the zest.
Last but not least, there are many more cocktail options! Lavender-limoncello martinis, sage-ginger-limoncello martinis, limoncello-pomegranate cosmos, limoncello paired with basil or with sage. Lime cello is great with gin and tonic. Limoncello is also great with a Jasmine (see David Lebovitz’s Blog for recipe). I’ve used limoncello in cakes and frosting. The alcohol cooks out of the cake and you have to put more zest in, but a bit in the frosting is wonderful.
So, I’ve really enjoyed making this—-and people love getting my cellos as gifts. Thank you for sharing your limoncello recipe and experience!
I made a batch two summers ago. Thank you. I turned out great. Asked an Italian friend of mine just to make sure and she thought it was pretty good.
… Question when in Italy I enjoyed the creamy type of lemoncello. Do u know what give it that look and texture?Reply
Thank you so much for the detailed recipe. We made lemoncello from your recipe three or four years ago for ourselves and for Christmas gifts. Your recent email reminded me of how fun it was to make. I think we will start a batch this week to give to friends on Valentine’s Day. It’s such a great gift. Thanks again.Reply
i started making Limoncello a few years ago…(my in law are Sicilian)I am still a newbie and still trying to perfect. Just finished bottling a batch today and I used your suggestion of the permanent and the paper filtering. I have been using a milk bag in the past. really liked your suggestion! I like a clear limoncello so filtering is a must! This batch is a little stronger in alcohol so it will definitely need to rest a while. Not sure I used enough sugar but dont like a really sweet limoncello and still playing and keeping a notebook on the changes. I believe everyone should tweak their limoncello to their own individual tastes…and goodness I despise the store bought ! ick thanks for all your suggestions and especially the calculator!!!Reply
Do you know where or from whom I can purchase ponderosa lemons? I’m not interested in ponderosa lemon trees, just the lemons.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
I started making my simple syrup for limoncello-making in the InstantPot. Add the filtered water and the sugar. DO NOT STIR.
Set to high pressure for 3 minutes. Unplug the pressure cooker when the cooking cycle is done (remember it’ll take about 5-7 minutes to get to pressure before the 3-minutes-under-pressure.)
Remove the pot liner while wearing mitts or using other heat protection. Set on a rack to cool, covered with cheesecloth or a tea towel. Often I pour this mixture into another container so it cools more quickly.
Wait until completely cool.
Use any leftovers from making limoncello in a hummingbird feeder.
Another thing I’ve learned: how to make a “Red Haze” cocktail. Invented July 2018 by DrLauren at the lake house in upstate NY.
Per Red Haze (some say “trance”) cocktail:
1.5 ounces limoncello
3 ounces 100% cranberry juice
Shake well over ice. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a fresh rosemary stalk or some lemon basil. Or whatever you like.
This drink is also nice with a splash of (ideally fresh) seltzer water.
For a pretty presentation and a lemony bite, add a lemon “ice” cube or two. (After zesting all those lemons, squeeze ‘ em & freeze ‘em in ice cube trays).
Enjoy responsibly 👻
HOW many lemons if I use 750 mil 160 proof alcohol and 964 mil simple syrup and how much sugar?Reply
What is final alcohol proof of limoncello using your recipe of 1500ml 150 proof grain alcohol and adding 3.5 cups sugar with 5 cups water?
Can the lemon / syrup mixture “rest” in the bottles? Or is it necessary to have it rest in the large container?Reply
Thanks for the great article. However I can’t see how 350 degrees is needed to sterilize when 200 kills everything you want to destroy. Secondly, since the bottles will be holding alcohol, I find the sterilization step to be rather redundant. Just saying.Reply
Have used this recipe several times and has always turned out great. At a recent family gathering, my brother revealed that he had some left over. The date was 3 years prior. Flavor was still excellent and I didn’t even mind it was room temperature. Was held in a rubber corked swing top. This recipe takes patience, but the reward is incredible. Thank you!Reply
I’ve made a few batches using Meyer lemons and it tastes pretty good. But that season is coming to an end. A friend told me they have 3 trees of sweet lemons or mosambi lemons. Have you tried using those? When I taste the zest it’s not as strong as the Meyers, so I’m thinking I’ll need to use more. What’s your experience?Reply
I just finished filtering the booze/zest (I used 150 proof) and it had a beautiful clear yellow color. But when I added the simple syrup, it turned cloudy. Is this a normal? The photo on this site shows a cloudy liquid, but the first batch I made with vodka was more clear. I decided to put in the back closet and let it sit for 45 days.Reply
When you say grain alcohol, what exactly do you mean? In regards to using vodka which is best: Ciroc, Absolut, or Devil’s spring? (1or 2 bottles?) Why are you filtering the alcohol? How much of the simple sugar mixture are you using?
Hi! Thanks for the great tutorial. I just started the infusion last night. I’m wondering, is there any reason why I can’t bottle right when I mix the simple syrup?
Instead of having it rest in the large jar, could I mix it with the syrup well and then bottle it? I’m trying to use these as Christmas gifts and just planned to inform the recipients of when it’s ok to open and drink.
You can, but it wouldn’t be limoncello if you did. Asti Martini has a flavor of it’s own and what you want here is a very neutral (flavorless) spirit.Reply
I’ve never tried it but I suspect it wouldn’t work as well. It’s the lemon oil you want, and I’m not sure what happens to it when you dry the zest.Reply
Perfectly titled as THE recipe to use my friend. 2 questions- Can you please tell me that after having steeped my meticulously peeled pithless peels for 65 days that I haven’t just ruined 2 GALLONS of the golden beauty by pouring in my simple sugar while still warm?
Secondly, would it be ok to pour into the bottles to let rest now or is that a strict no no? I’d like to free up the gallon glass jars to get started on a batch of narancello but I can order some more jars if you advise against it.
Question, how much simple syrup do I add to 750 ml (apx) of lemon-infused grain alcohol? All of what is here (the 5 cups water and the 3 1/2 cups sugar)? Just some? Need to make it soon as my tincture is almost ready to filter. Thanks – SusanReply
All of that is for 2 bottles or 1.5L. Here’s the recipe: https://limoncelloquest.com/limoncello-articles/limoncello-recipeReply
Got it! I’m filtering my tincture right now and the simple syrup is cooling. The only thing I did differently from your recipe is that I zested my lemons instead of pealing them. It releases more of the oils and makes it a bit more lemony. But I really needed the simple syrup amounts and I thank you for your help. Cheers!Reply
The lemon count doesn’t make sense. Lemons come in all sizes and it depends on how much zest you get from your lemons. This is the ONLY website recipe that actually states the amount of zest needed (~50 grams) although you do have to search for it. I have been looking for other recipes to compare the amount of zest and had no luck. Thanks for giving an accurate amount of zest in weight and not lemon count.Reply
After zesting, I’ve been told to use lemon juice by adding it to the simple syrup. You seem to agree with this and purchased a juicer but I don’t see any directions for using the juice.
The last two patches I made were (one) with simple syrup and the other with honey. The honey seemed a bit more mellow and smooth.
Any thoughts? Also, your recommendation for adding cream? BTW, great site, I’m in the restaurant business.Reply
Thanks! This post was super helpful!
Have you ever tried any alcohols other than vodka? I am thinking overproofed rum or mezcal. I will try this even if it’s not reccomended because YOLO but also I think the rum could bring a rustic sweetness. The mezcal would have a smokey flavor that goes with lemon. I get that’s probably against everything you believe in and for that, I am sorry.
Thank you again!
Do whatever you think will be delicious! I prefer base liquors that have nearly no flavor of their own because I’m a purist about the lemon flavor. But that’s just my opinion!Reply
If you convert his simple syrup recipe from 6.167 cups to mls, his recipe yields 1459.0397 mls. Using his proof calculator, his is roughly 38% proof. That’s really very strong. I researched the world’s most popular selling bottled limoncello and it seems 30% is what most companies utilize. However, it may possibly freeze. I’m going to try a small batch to figure out if I need 30% or 32% because I prefer less strong and less sweet. Here goes nothing.Reply
Hello from Spain. I’m working on my second batch. I did one a few years ago using lemons from our tree when we lived in southern Spain. We had so many lemons (literally a ton, I estimated) that I made the dreadful mistake of adding zest to syrup when boiling and then blending. YOU MUST NEVER BE TEMPTED TO DO THIS. The zest and other particulate matter was no longer protected from oxidation because of the lower alcoholic content of the liquor/syrup mix. The whole batch, about 10L, went brown and was ruined. We gave it back to the guy who gave us the alcohol (orujo which is the Galician version of grappa, from wine grapes) and he distilled it with his grape pomace the following year.
This year we have orujo from our own wine which did not make it to the final blend. It’s about 54% alcohol. We are using lemons from our own tree again but the lemons in Galicia are not a patch on the quality of lemons from Andalucia. It smells good but is very pale with almost a green tinge to it. However we do have really fantastic clementines and I will try with them next season as per the suggestion of another one of your contributors below.
One last thing. We’re winemakers and so we’re used to doing blending trials. So I make up a syrup according to your suggestions but we run a blending trial with it to get the balance right for us (considerably less sweet than commercial limoncellos).
Thanks for your great, and really useful website.
Thank you so much for the recipe! Just a short question – do you let the bottle rest at room temperature or in the freezer?
Agreed, I mention this in a number of places on the site. That said, people tend to like my recipe.Reply
every time I click on something like alcohol calculator and takes me to a another website that says I need to verify I’m not a bot….I enjoy limoncello and this website is exactly what I have been looking for could you please help and tell me what I need to do so this stops. I really would like to utilize the alcohol percentage calculator … thank you very much … I even tried to click on contacts and that would not workReply
My site got hacked, but it’s not right now. So if that happens please clear your cache.Reply
sorry did not work if there is away to access everything please let me know the site looks great and the calculator is exactly what i’m looking forReply
Do you use two bottles of pure grain alcohol and the zest of 17 lemons. Or just one bottle I was confused cause it says 750ml is more then enough. Also the
5 cups of water and 3.5 cups of sugar is that for 2 bottles or 1 bottle. Thank you
Using a sharp potato peeler, the kind that’s been around for 50 years at least, works just fine. It doesn’t take any great skill or a zester to make limoncello unless taking your time to do a good job these days qualifies as a great skill. I still have half a batch that i made 08/11/18 (33 months ago) and it tastes great. I used the skin from 35 lemons and 5 750ml bottles of 190 proof Everclear. There’s a reason why limoncello is made with 190 proof ethanol. What would dissolve more salt, a liter of 95% EtOH and 5% water or 75% EtOH and 25% water? The same principle is at play when making limoncello. I never made limoncello that tasted the slightest bit bitter, and my guess is that many of the people that have made bitter limoncello wouldn’t have, if they used 190 proof ethanol instead of 151 proof, or worse, wasted their time making it with 100 proof vodka.Reply
What is the purpose of filtering the grain alcohol before adding the lemon zest? Does it in any way affect the taste or shelf life?Reply
After your simple syrup has cooled completely do you add the full amount to your lemon liquor? 5 cups filtered water and 3.5 cups white sugar. All of it?Reply
Can you please confirm sugar ingredients in grams or oz please.
USA cups are different to Australian and European.
Exact grams would clear thus up.
Thank you for all your work in finding and sharing your results! I had a modification I wanted to run by you. I’ve been using Stella Parks’ recipe for fresh lemon syrup for a while (https://www.seriouseats.com/fresh-lemon-syrup-recipe), which is the liquid made from macerating spent lemon rinds in sugar. Since there’s very little water added to make the syrup, it can be used nearly 1:1 for sugar in many applications. The idea is similar to steeping the rinds in Everclear in that it aims to squeeze out the oils (but in the syrup instead). Would it be worth giving the syrup a go in place of the simple syrup made for limoncello (with added water to dilute it)? I think the only concern I’d have is the bitterness of the pith making its way to the limoncello via the syrup. My palette is not particularly refined though, so I haven’t noticed the bitterness in the syrup before HAHA.Reply
It seems that some/much of the flavor of limoncello comes from the oils extracted from lemon rinds.
An article about filtering coffee and the trade offs using different filters (mesh, cloth and paper) suggests that paper removes the most oil.
How much of the flavor of limoncello is removed by filtering? I would think only using a mesh would leave more flavor.
My 1st batch has been sitting 5 weeks … trying to decide on next steps!Reply
Instead of filtering th infusion and adding it to the syrup, can you just add the infusion (unfiltered) to the syrup and let is sit for another 45 day? Then filter a couple times and bottle. Mike LambiotteReply
What about adding the lemon juice to the mixture to bulk up the yield?Reply
Interesting recipe indeed, I shall have to try it out some time in the not too distant future ;?) One question though, and I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but WHY on Earth do you filter 150 proof grain alcohol??? I’ve done MANY, many extractions over the years with the stuff and can’t for the life of me figure out what exactly you’re filtering out?
I always thought the stuff was just about as clean as it can be, although these days I’ve actually been using 200 proof grain alcohol from XFB (xfbev.com) for my liqueurs and tinctures ;?)
In my haste… I skipped the filtering step prior to adding the simple syrup because I misread it. I’m now at the end of the second 45 day cycle and preparing to bottle. Which is when I discovered my mistake. I’m currently filtering and it looks great. Is it still okay to drink this? Is it just going to be extra strong?Reply
The first filtration is optional so you should be fine.Reply
This is just a trial and error thing. When I filter it, it tastes smoother to me. And they make products specifically for that purpose so I know other people think the same.Reply
If you add lemon juice, then it’s not limoncello. It changes the whole thing.Reply
The oils will dissolve and mix with the alcohol. The filtering won’t remove any oils or flavor. The whole point of this step is to get most of the ethereal oils from the zeste.
BTW, I use muslin cloth instead of a coffee filter.
I’ve yet to read any explanation for the “mellowing” effect that occurs while letting the alcohol mixture rest. What exactly is going on in the mixture that mellows it out during this time? Thanks for any knowledge bombs on this topic!Reply
Have you ever tried then doing a milk clarification t9 the final result?Reply
Hey there, Ben,
(pardon if this is a duplicate post), we don’t know how to count and started a Christmas batch today 10/1. Wondering instead of two 45-day cycles, if we would be sacrificing flavor/quality two 40-day cycles so we can have them bottled by 12/25? p.s. This is our fifth batch using your recipe, and it’s been amazing every time — thank you for sharing!Reply
Can somebody give me exact proportions for a 37% abv limoncello using 190 proof everclear 1.75 ltr bottle? What volume of simple syrup would I use?Reply
[…] Limoncello quest documents one person’s exhaustive efforts to make limoncello, along with a few nice recipes. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)An Italian LiquorCoral Queensland recipeWinter Blues […]Reply