Limoncello Recipe

"lemons, vodka, and sugar"

limoncello recipe

This limoncello recipe is one of those traditional Italian drinks and part of my lemon dessert recipes collection since it calls for the use of fresh lemons.

This limoncello recipe produces a lemon cordial or a lemon liqueur. Which brings up an interesting question - is this a cordial or a liqueur? And as a whole what's the difference between a cordial and a liqueur? Really it's all in the *word* and who is using it. More than 30% of my readers are OUTSIDE of the US. So to clarify:

  • In the United States we use the word cordial
  • In Europe the word used is liqueur
  • Make sense? So if you are looking for a lemon cordial or lemon liqueur recipe you have come to the right place!

    This limoncello recipe is easy to make. Only 3 ingredients - and all recipes are basically the same. I had my brother-in-law email me his copy of the recipe since he made these for us this past New Year's Eve.

    The ingredients are the easy part. Waiting for it to be ready is the tougher part. Plan on a week for it to sit and saturate. But once it's done you have a bottle for a long time!

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    Limoncello Recipe

    YIELD: One bottle


    * 6 lemons

    * 1 bottle(s) (750-ml) 100-proof vodka

    * 1 3/4 cup(s) sugar


    * Remove peel from lemons With vegetable peeler.

    * Refrigerate peeled lemons for juice. Or see my italian dessert recipes listed below that use fresh lemon juice!

    * Pour vodka into 8-cup measuring cup or large glass bowl and add lemon peels.

    * Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 week.

    * After 1 week, line a sieve with paper towel and place over another large bowl.

    * Pour vodka mixture through sieve; throw away the lemon peels. Or do it like my brother-in-law - pick out the rinds with a fork.

    * Mix sugar with 3 1/4 cups water and put in a saucepan.

    * Boil 2 minutes stirring constantly.

    * Remove and cool completely.

    * Add cool syrup to vodka mixture.

    * The actual prep is maybe - the waiting a week, well that's a little something you may need to plan on if you will be serving this at a party. ;-)

    What is the best way to store limoncello?

    Pour into bottles with tight-fitting stoppers or lids. You don't NEED to refrigerate cordials. But they are best served very cold. My bro-in-law keeps his batch in the freezer where it can keep indefinitely. Or until I come over to visit again!

    Can I use Everclear?

    Well, some would argue that vodka is vodka. This recipe gets it's flavor from the lemon peel. Just make sure you get 100 proof.

    Is this limoncello recipe the same as a lemon cordial?

    Yup! Identical thing. It may be called a liqueur too. In Italy limoncello is made from the lemons off of the Aldafi coast - and that's why it's commonly called "limoncello".

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