Homemade Italian Limoncello - Original Italian Recipe

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to share my Italian Limoncello Recipe with you! It was given to me by my wife’s sicilian Aunt. Here it goes:

The Ingredients

* 8 organic (yellow) lemons.
* A bottle of 75cl of pure grain alcohol (from 70% to 90%). Everclear should be your best option (if allowed in your State)
* 3 1/2 cups of white Sugar (about 25 oz)
* 75 cl of Water.

The first thing we have to do is take the lemons and peel the zest off.

The lemons, as I told you before, must be yellow and not green. Another important thing to remember is that when you peel the zest off, you should stay away from the pith (the white part); we will just use the colored part, because the pith will give a bitter flavor to our Limoncello.

I usually use a vegetable peeler for that, but you can use anything you want.

Now we need to put the lemon zest inside the alcohol, and let it macerate for about 48 to 72 hours. You may probably want to separate the alcohol in two bottles, otherwise the zests will not fit.

Put a cap on those bottles, they have to be closed hermetically, and keep them away from sunlight. And now, we wait…

Put the 75cl of water to boil on a pot, turn the flame off and then add the sugar.

We just want the water and the sugar to mix together, we are not making any caramel here.

Let it cool for about 5 to 10 minutes and then add the alcohol from our macerated lemon zests to the pot. You can use a strainer, since we do not want the zests here.

Combine everything, put it in bottles and wait for it to cool off.

Once is cool, put those bottles in the freezer. Limoncello is best served chilled after a meal as a digestive liqueur.

If you want to see the pictures to follow the whole process, you can go to the website on my signature.

Buon Limoncello!!!

I was going to make some lemoncello to use in a lemoncello tiramisu, but I found that the ingredients would cost me more than just buying a bottle. Lemons here in Thailand are expensive, nearly $1.00 each.

wow, that IS expensive… in this recipe I have found (at least here in Italy) that the most expensive ingredient is the alcohol bottle, which is about 11 euros. But yes, 1 dollar a lemon is pretty expensive.

KW, Head west from your place about 10,000 miles and you will find me.

Great how to recipe. Some suggestions: Look for lemon varieties that have a thick skin and are high in essential oils like Eurekas or Sorrentos. Also try an alternative sweetener such as agave instead of refined sugar for a warmer palate feel. The after effects of Limoncello are partially due to the sugar crash – there is a lot of sugar. The maceration time will vary and so will the final flavor and color profile depending on the proof of your spirit. Check the rinds to see when the color has completely been extracted. You should adjust the amount of simple syrup based on proof of your spirit or you will get different final proofs. Most Limoncello is between 28 to 35% alc. Do the math to make sure your final proof is accurate. I would cool the simple syrup completely in the refrigerator then add it slowly. Adding water to alc causes a reaction which raises the temp further.

After looking at your discussion about lemon prices, I took a look at my supermarket, because I honestly did not remember how much I usually pay for them.

The price here in Italy is about 1 euro for 8 lemons (about 1 Kg).

I’m sorry it’s so expensive in your cities!

The reason lemons are expensive here is that they have to be imported. Thais use limes not lemons so Thailand doesn’t grow lemons. It would not be cost effective for them. When I first was coming here as a tourist I went to a restaurant that served Italian food and I ordered Chicken Piccata. I was very unhappy when I got my food. It looked beautiful, but they used lime instead of lemon. The Thais refer to limes as manoa which translates to lemon. When I want lemon I have to ask for yellow lemon.

I love limes. I wonder how this recipe would be with limes instead of lemons? I have a bottle of (commercial) Limoncello, so there’s no need to make it yet; but “Limencello”?!? That could be interesting! I think I’ll try that sometime.

I don’t think it would be very good with limes; a bit too harsh for me.

This seems like a great recipe. I’m going to have to make some for my brother.

Well, I wouldn’t do it either with limes, but I know you can also make it with Mandarin Oranges… and the name is “Mandarinello”. I prefer Limoncello, but that one is also good.

Sorry for the misspelling: the correct name actually is “Mandarinetto”.

how many ounces of water equals 75cl?

According to google should be:
75 cl = 25.360517 US fluid ounces